This past week I was fortunate enough to join our field leaders and Wilderness Ranger Fellows at the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute which took place at Powell Ranger Station near the north end of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness for five days. The skills institute brought together 150+ people from all over the region. There were many field-going folks, as well as program leaders from the Forest Service, people from the National Parks, and other nonprofit organizations like SBFC. Everyone was there to dive deep into the traditional skills and knowledge it takes to keep Wilderness accessible and wild for everyone.

I was extremely impressed with our SBFC staff and fellows. Our strong group of twenty showed a massive amount of enthusiasm and leadership throughout the week. None of them were afraid to speak up and to ask questions, even though many of our people, particularly our fellows, are very new to this world. I see so much strength and potential within this group. They have become great friends and it’s apparent that they will be ready for their first hitches in June to get into the Wilderness and do good work.

Thanks to all the people who helped to make the 2023 NRWSI possible, including our very own program manager Josh Page! Due to the major efforts of many, the future of our Wilderness lands are brighter than ever.

Looking ahead, we will be coming to you with regular blog posts from our field staff and fellows, as well as with other helpful communications to give you info and tools to get into these landscapes throughout the season. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear more of from us in the future!

Here’s to the Frank and Selway being wild and accessible forever!

I’ll see you out there.
Ryan Ghelfi

Tonight we are hosting a volunteer webinar on Zoom at 6:15 PM (Mountain Time). Come learn about our trail projects and get your questions answered! Sign up here!

SBFC will partner with Here Montana to take folks out on a stewardship project in the Bitterroot Mountains in 2023. Listen to their director Alex Kim talk about their mission.

Keep an eye out next year for information about the 2024 Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute

Our friends at the Idaho Trails Association are looking for volunteers for a couple of awesome Wilderness projects in June on the Selway River Trail (women’s only) and out of Wilderness Gateway (family trip!)

SBFC has a few spots left on our single day volunteer project at Colgate Licks on June 3 and Horse Creek on June 21. Sign up before the spots are gone!

On Thursday, June 1, we are celebrating National Trails Day a few days early with a screening of Outdoor Idaho’s In the Shadow of the Bitterroots at Mother Earth Brew Co. in Boise. Learn more!

SCNF Partnerships Newsletter – May2023

27. April 2023 · Comments Off on USFS Battery Powered Chain Saw Evaluations · Categories: Education


26. April 2023 · Comments Off on McCall has a deer problem · Categories: Around The Campfire

The deer herd that resides within McCall’s city limits is once again up for discussion.

Idaho Fish and Game gave a presentation to McCall City Council, warning that the deer problem could get worse.

Through surveys done over the winter, Fish and Game now estimate the in-town deer population to be at least 258. It was noted that there is a high fawn-to-doe ratio, meaning the herd is growing.

“We learned that we have a minimum of 258 deer living in town during winter. We observed that they’re quite habituated to people,” Regan Berkley of Fish and Game said. “…We saw a very high fawn to doe a ratio… But the essence of what that means is this is a growing deer herd. The fawn-doe ratio that we observed here in town is nearly twice what we usually see at that same time in winter range on our natural herds.”

Fish and Game has recently taken 40-plus calls from people reporting dead/injured deer. Berkley said this number is likely higher as the McCall Police Department is also receiving reports.

The problem & past measures

There was a trapping effort in late January in Cascade led by Fish and Game. It was stopped after 75% of the 20 captured deer had exotic lice. Berkley said there is “no reasonable medication or treatment” for this.

“Those had exotic lice and had to be euthanized. We did not go into that as a euthanasia effort. We went into it with the hopes that we would be able to translocate most of the deer that we laid hands on. That turned out not to be the case,” Berkley said. “We stopped trapping after two days to regroup.”

There have been two cases of exotic lice found in McCall deer – this prevents relocation to winter range. In addition to spreading lice, there is also concern about the growing mountain lion population from the influx of deer.

Fish and Game have received over 50 reports of mountain lions since mid-January, most of which have been spotted around Rio Vista Boulevard and Spring Mountain Ranch.

“It is not atypical for us to have some reports of mountain lions in town any given winter we get a couple here or there. This winter has been remarkable,” Berkley said.

More issues that come from feeding include deer getting trapped in things like hammocks and Christmas lights, and aggressive deer.

“Although not exclusively, it is mama deer that likely have a fawn stashed nearby that no one can see because that’s how they deal with their fawn….then when someone comes walking along unwittingly with their dog, we get reports of dogs being threatened and or actually stomped by deer nearly every year,” Berkley said. “…We do occasionally have deer actually being threatening towards people – not letting people get in their front door and that sort of thing.”

23. April 2023 · Comments Off on Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen – 2023 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

TVBCH-2023 (PDF)

20. April 2023 · Comments Off on WRTC – April Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire


17. April 2023 · Comments Off on 2023 Stanley Sawyer Workshop · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education, Training Events

Stanley 2023 Workshop (PDF)

16. April 2023 · Comments Off on Idaho 2023 Legislative Voting Record · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

2023 Legislative Voting Record_Final

14. April 2023 · Comments Off on Israeli Style Emergency Bandage – Compression Trauma Wound Dressing · Categories: Education, Safety

About this item
Non-pneumatic trauma bandage
Can apply 30-40+ lbs of pressure to the wound
Multi-functional bandage for various wounds
Compact, lightweight, waterproof, and vacuum sealed packaging
Sterile, best-in-class 8-year shelf life
Integrated pressure bar exerts immediate and direct pressure to the wound
Built-in closure bar: no pins, no clips, no tape, no hook-and-loop, no knots
Non-adherent 6″ pad eliminates pain during removal and prevents wound re-opening

13. April 2023 · Comments Off on New Documents – Developing Thinking Sawyers · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education

Sawyer Certificate – Example
Sawyer Level A-B Eval Sheet – Cross cut saw
Sawyer Level A-B Eval Sheet – CHAIN SAW

12. April 2023 · Comments Off on Trail Season – Coming soon – Brush up on your backcountry skills · Categories: Education

Want to brush up on your backcountry skills? We have some great (and free!) learning opportunities coming up. See our Upcoming Webinars and Events section below for more info about these in-person and online events:

09. April 2023 · Comments Off on Idaho State Communication Center (24/7 emergency communication center) · Categories: Education, Safety

Idaho State Communication Center

09. April 2023 · Comments Off on BCHA – Spring 2023 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA



07. April 2023 · Comments Off on PUG – Lex Carey Promotion · Categories: Current Events, Trail Volunteer Groups

Read More – LEX040723

06. April 2023 · Comments Off on Upcoming Project – Tin Cup Trail Head Upgrade · Categories: Around The Campfire, Trail Volunteer Groups, Work Parties and Projects

Trail Head Project – Pettit Lake – Stanley Basin Saturday & Sunday June 24-25, 2023
The Tin Cup Corrals Project is being lead by the USFS and involves multiple volunteer groups
with the plan to upgrade this trail head for horse camping and stock use.
Prime access to the Sawtooth’s.
More information about the project comming soon!
Past Pictures  2022    2019 
Contact: Lisa Griffith  208-571-1054

Getting ready for the project:  (GRANT)

Dear Lisa,

I am pleased to inform you that the Sawtooth National Recreation Area License Plate Fund (Goat Plate Program) grant application that you submitted for 4Q2022  was approved. These funds are specifically dedicated for the construction and installation of two new corrals adjacent to the Tin Cup Trailhead in the SNRA.  Please send your invoice to Kathryn Grohusky, Executive Director, at P.O. Box 820, Hailey, ID 83333 or to, and she will mail the check to you directly.

Just a reminder that at six months or midway through the grant (whichever is sooner) following award of your grant, you will submit an email status report. It should be emailed to the Society at The report should describe briefly what has been accomplished and how much grant money has been spent, and it should advise of the estimated completion date for the project.

Also, upon completion of the project, you will email a status report to the Society. The report should describe what was accomplished and how much grant money was spent (including copies of paid invoices), and it should indicate what, if any, financial assistance was received from other funding sources. Absent Society written approval otherwise, unused grant monies shall be returned at this time. Additionally, we would appreciate knowing how the Society was recognized.

The Sawtooth Society is pleased to partner with the Sawtooth Ski Club in helping to serve recreationists in the SNRA. Thank you for submitting the grant application and for working with the Sawtooth Society to preserve, protect, and enhance the SNRA.

Again, congratulations and all best regards,

Debra LaMorte, Chair, Sawtooth Society LPF Grants Committee

Purchasing Material  & start Fabrication

Bart Baer building gates

06. April 2023 · Comments Off on Equine Wellness: Minerals and Insulin Resistance · Categories: Education

A Balanced Intake of Key Minerals is Essential for the Support of IR Horses

Minerals have direct and indirect involvement in virtually every action in the body and have important effects on insulin resistance (IR) or its consequences. IR is different in the horse than in the human, but the same basic principles apply. There is evidence of activated antioxidant defenses in the tissues of IR horses.

Building the horse’s own antioxidant basic defenses is most effective. This includes the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase enzyme systems, as well as the antioxidants glutathione, CoQ10, carotenoids and vitamin A, flavonoids, and vitamins E and C. Glutathione is particularly widely distributed.

SOD absolutely requires copper and zinc. Catalase requires iron, which is not an issue, as the typical equine diet supplies plenty of iron.

Glutathione activity depends on selenium, a very common deficiency. Selenium is also essential for the generation of the active form of thyroid hormone, T3, from T4. Selenoproteins, important to immune function, are just beginning to be looked at in depth. Both IR and pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) horses are prone to inflammatory and allergic-type immune reactions rather than using the more sophisticated arm of the immune system.

Zinc is a commonly deficient mineral. Low serum zinc is associated with IR and type 2 diabetes in humans and rats. Supplementation of zinc supports defenses against type 2 diabetes in rat models; exactly why has not been determined. It is known that zinc is important on several levels as it’s involved in insulin release and sensitivity, as well as being an antioxidant in SOD.

Like zinc, copper is critical for SOD function. Copper deficiency causes IR and fatty liver in rats. Low liver copper is found in human fatty livers. Deficiency is also linked to higher liver iron in IR, a known problem in IR horses, too.

Magnesium has been associated with IR for 40 years, with hundreds of human papers dedicated to the subject. Magnesium is not a treatment, but by correcting a deficiency it makes the disease easier to control.

Magnesium dietary intake and magnesium status—whole body levels—are both associated with strong defenses against IR and they deteriorate when someone develops IR. It becomes a cycle you need to stay on top of to allow stabilization.

A 2013 study included almost 2000 non-diabetic subjects that were followed for 15.6 years. Magnesium intake was a “significant protective factor” against type 2 diabetes, including progression from IR to diabetes. Researchers could predict who would most likely become IR by looking at their magnesium levels.

Magnesium increases insulin receptor number and sensitivity in experimental rodent IR. Magnesium deficiency interferes with insulin signaling. Deficiency has also been linked to activation of allergic and inflammatory reactions.

Iodine is essential to production of thyroid hormone. Low iodine status has been identified in human patients with type 2 diabetes. Normal thyroid function is required for insulin sensitivity.

IR horses may also have low thyroid hormone levels in some cases. This is probably euthyroid sick syndrome, meaning it is an effect rather than a cause. In most of these horses, with correct levels of selenium and iodine, and control of IR, the levels will rise again. Low thyroid is not a primary part of the syndrome but can make some horses very depressed and lethargic. Thyroid supplementation can be used but by addressing the above you will not need supplementation long term.

Chromium has been important for people, probably due to processed foods being stripped of many essential minerals. It is required for a normal cellular response to insulin. The exact dietary requirement is unknown, but supplementation in IR horses is not helpful in most cases. Grass absorbs chromium very efficiently and soil levels are abundant in most areas. The ECIR Group has observed a problem only when horses are eating hay grown on alkaline soils where the plants may not absorb the chromium as readily.

It’s not as fancy as a pricey magic bullet supplement but the best place to start supporting your IR horse on a low-sugar and low-starch diet is with balanced intake of key minerals.

Hata A, Doi Y, Ninomiya T, Mukai N, Hirakawa Y, Hata J, Ozawa M, Uchida K, Shirota T, Kitazono T, Kiyohara Y. Magnesium intake decreases Type 2 diabetes risk through the improvement of insulin resistance and inflammation: the Hisayama Study. Diabet Med. 2013 Dec;30(12):1487-94. doi: 10.1111/dme.12250. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Hruby, A, Meigs J, O’Donnell C, Jacques P, McKeown N. Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and progression from prediabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans. Clinical Trial Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb;37(2):419-27. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1397. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

03. April 2023 · Comments Off on Fish & Game warns public to stay off popular trail~ · Categories: Current Events

An aggressive moose has been reported on a popular winter trail in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest near Georgetown. Members of the public have had recent encounters with this moose on the groomed trail extending beyond the parking area where Georgetown Canyon Road ends and Caribou-Targhee National Forest Road 102 begins. This part of the trail is groomed and maintained for winter recreationists, however Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public to please consider recreating elsewhere.

“We know it’s tough to ask people who enjoy this trail to recreate somewhere else, but avoiding this area is in the interest of both public safety and concern for the moose’s well-being,” says Jennifer Jackson, Regional Communications Manager for Idaho Fish and Game Southeast Region.

Though incidents with moose are usually rare, moose can be defensive if startled. In this case, the moose is dealing with harsh winter conditions and likely finds the groomed trail easy to navigate, and that is creating some conflicts for trail users.

“The moose has to be as tired of this long winter as everyone else is,” says Jackson. “Dealing with snowy conditions and human disturbance, it sounds like this moose has reached its tipping point and isn’t being tolerant of those who get too close!”

Though public safety is the main issue, Fish and Game is also concerned about the moose itself. The stress of being disturbed by trail users—even when unintentional—can cause the moose to burn its remaining energy reserves necessary to survive this severe and prolonged winter. In fact, Fish and Game is asking recreationists throughout the Southeast Region to give wintering wildlife their space and to consider avoiding areas used by wintering big game animals until winter conditions improve.

So, in spite of your best efforts to avoid moose on a trail, what do you do if you encounter one?

• Keep your distance, at least three car lengths between you and the moose. 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. In fact, its unlawful to allow dogs to chase 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 Fish and Game at 208-232-4703.

01. April 2023 · Comments Off on USFS Videos – Hand Tools for Trail Work · Categories: Education

Videos Part 1   /     Part 2

31. March 2023 · Comments Off on USFS 2023 Updated Saw Policy Documents · Categories: Education, Safety

2023-03-29 National Saw Program Updates


USFS National Saw program FAQ_03-2023


wo_2350 (sec 2358)-Amend 2023-2


24. March 2023 · Comments Off on Wood River Trails Coalition – March News · Categories: Trail Volunteer Groups


16. March 2023 · Comments Off on PUG – 2022 Annual Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Trail Volunteer Groups

READ REPORT: 2022Annual-Report-PUG

15. March 2023 · Comments Off on BCHI – Broomtales Winter 2022/2023 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA



08. March 2023 · Comments Off on BCHA – Hike the Hill · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA_2023 Hike the Hill summary


4Trail Funding Fact Sheet 2.26.2023

06. March 2023 · Comments Off on Hatchet’s · Categories: Education

Read full Text

06. March 2023 · Comments Off on 2023 Idaho Sportsmen Show · Categories: Around The Campfire

Since the inception of the Sportsmen Show, BHCI chapters “Boise, Squaw Butte & Treasure Valley” have had an information booth next to the USFS booth where we provide information about the organization and the need for volunteers to assist with the stewardship of trails on public lands in Idaho.  With BCHI increasing partnership with the Idaho Trails Association in the last decade they joined the booth in 2018.  Covid impacted this show over the last couple of year, with 2023 being the first year that the show was back to full size with the attendance of the past.

Thank you to all the chapter and ITA members who took time to staff our booth and talk to the public that showed an interest in our organizations and our Mission!

04. March 2023 · Comments Off on AllTrails – Succor Creek Natural Area · Categories: Fun Rides


04. March 2023 · Comments Off on BCHW – A Well Executed Chapter Display · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

01. March 2023 · Comments Off on Humor – Search & Rescue gone wrong! · Categories: Around The Campfire

Animated Ski Short Classic: It’s Time to Watch ‘Hors Piste’ If You Haven’t Already

The animated short ‘Hors Piste’ is like a Pixar short crossed with a harrowing search-and-rescue story. It’s funny, cringe-worthy, unexpected, and a hilarious take on a ski trip gone wrong.

01. March 2023 · Comments Off on SBFC – Letter to Partners from Ryan Ghelfi · Categories: Around The Campfire, Trail Volunteer Groups

Hello everyone,

This is Ryan Ghelfi. I am the new executive director for the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation. My wife and I along with our two children relocated to McCall Idaho from Ashland Oregon this past month.

Here is a short primer on my background. I have owned and operated a few different small businesses over the past seven years all in the outdoor recreation space. I’ve also spent a lot of time as a multi-day outdoor guide for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and backpacking organizations in Oregon and California. In addition I have been on the board for Siskiyou Mountain Club, a non profit based in Southern Oregon.

Please feel free to share my contact information with stakeholders who you think should have it.  I will continue to work with Sally Ferguson until March 31 2023 to assure a smooth transition. I look forward to working with you and to furthering the shared goal for the stewardship of these great Wilderness lands.

All the best,

Ryan Ghelfi (he/him/his)

Executive Director

Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation


PO Box 1886

Boise, ID 83701

(530) 949-4928

01. March 2023 · Comments Off on U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging New Mexico Stream Access Law · Categories: Current Events

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is welcome news for New Mexico anglers and public land users. The Supreme Court declined to hear the arguments brought by two landowners seeking to overturn rulings from the New Mexico Supreme Court that prevented landowners from restricting public access to waterways that run across private land. The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court was brought forward by Chama Troutstalkers LLC and Z&T Cattle Company LLC. The landowners filed suit against three conservation groups: The New Mexico chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Adobe Whitewater Club of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

“The highest court in the land has spoken, and like the New Mexico Supreme Court before it, has summarily dismissed the baseless arguments of a handful of private landowners in New Mexico who would ban anglers, boaters, and others from waters that have been public since time immemorial,” said Joel Gay, former policy coordinator for the New Mexico chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, in a press release. “The justices have sent a simple message to these privileged landowners: that they have to share.”

The Supreme Court’s dismissal follows years of controversy over stream access in New Mexico. In 1911, the state adopted a constitution that stated that every “natural stream, perennial or torrential, within the state of New Mexico” belonged to the public. But at some point, that public right fell to the wayside and private landowners began blocking access to public water on private land.

Then, in 2014, a law student raised the issue and the New Mexico Attorney General made an official statement in support of public access. Private interests responded by pushing a law through the state legislature that allowed landowners to prevent access to certain streams depending on “navigability” in 2015. In March of 2022, the New Mexico Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional. In September 2022, the court doubled down on its opinion, confirming that the public had the right to walk and wade streams that crossed private land, though they are not allowed to walk across private land to reach the streams. This was what the decision that litigators challenged in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was recently dismissed.

Lawyers from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers tell Field & Stream that the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling is strong—but that they don’t expect attacks on public access from some private landowners to stop. Possible attempts to limit public access could involve restrictions from local governments, enacting legislation that narrowly defines “recreational use,” and keeping barriers up to public waterways—forcing further litigation. Still, conservation leaders are celebrating the recent victories.

“This decision represents a huge, positive movement for public access broadly, and stream and water access specifically,” says Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Communications Director Katie McKalip. “It sends a message that public access matters—and that private interests can’t expect to be able to push aside long-established access laws to advance their own personal interests.”

28. February 2023 · Comments Off on BCHA – NWSA Grants Webinar · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

28. February 2023 · Comments Off on ITA – The Old Saw, March 2023 · Categories: Current Events


24. February 2023 · Comments Off on Perpetua Resources – Stibnite Mine – Deep Dive · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter

Tucked in the mountains of Valley County in a small town just east of Yellow Pine is the Stibnite Mine District. The district was mined for more than 100 years, dating back to 1899 before closing. Now, a proposed project looks to reopen the mine.

Perpetua Resources, formerly Midas Gold, wants to open the mine again with the Stibnite Gold Project to primarily mine for gold and antimony but also some silver. Antimony is commonly used to make bullets and batteries.

According to Perpetua Resources, during World War II, Stibnite Mine District provided 90% of the antimony and 50% of the tungsten for the U.S. The site was mined up until 1996 but has since sat vacant.

After years of project refinement and 10,000 public comments following the Forest Service’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or SDEIS, Perpetua’s Modified Mine Plan was released to the public.

The Stibnite Gold Project is weighty, encompassing more than 1,700 miles. Perpetua wants to clean up the mining district that has tailings and waste from decades ago and again give the U.S. access to a critical mineral. But opponents say this project would further damage the environment. And Valley County officials are split on whether the mine would help or hurt the area.


22. February 2023 · Comments Off on ITA – 2023 Project Schedule Preview · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Dear ITA supporters,

The day is here! We are excited this year to offer you a preview of 2023 projects one week before they open for signups. With over 80 projects planned ranging from one-day opportunities near towns like Sandpoint, McCall, Boise and Pocatello to our first-ever three-week-long Wilderness Immersion trip, there is something for everyone! We have projects open to all, projects for youth, veterans, and women, and projects focusing on the Idaho Centennial Trail. Volunteers can backpack, drive, fly, jet boat, or watch their gear loaded on mules as they set out on their public land stewardship adventure.

No matter the trip you choose, you are sure to meet other volunteers of all ages and backgrounds and share in the camaraderie of clearing Idaho’s diverse and beautiful trails, creating memories and building friendships. Volunteers do not need to have previous trail work experience to join. We’ll bring the tools and teach you everything you need! Read our FAQs to learn more about what volunteering on a trail crew is like.

On March 1, the project schedule will open for member signups at 11am PT/ 12pm MT. Learn more about becoming a member here. The schedule will open on March 15 for the public. If you are an ITA member, keep an eye out for an email on March 1 with your password for signing up.

Grab a beverage and your laptop, kick your feet up and enjoy a week of perusing the 2023 project schedule. Reach out to with questions. Make a list of your favorite projects and get ready to hit “Sign Me Up” in one week! Can’t wait to see you on the trail.


22. February 2023 · Comments Off on PUG – Legacy Trails Funding Granted · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands, Trail Volunteer Groups

.We are very excited to announce that the Pulaski Users Group has been awarded funding from American Trail’s Legacy Trails Program. PUG has been awarded $48,000 from the Legacy Trails Program, administered by American Trails, for the re-establishment of the Johnson Creek area in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA).

This funding will allow us to re-establish a number of USFS system trails starting from the Graham Trailhead on the northwestern side of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) up to Pat’s Lake. These trails provide alternative access to the remote and very wild western portion of the SNRA. The Johnson Creek Trail portion to Pat’s Lake has not received maintenance, Forest Service or other, since the 1990’s, and is in desperate need of attention. The lack of a clearly defined trail is promoting user created trails and river crossings which is negatively impacting the watershed. This project will benefit recreational users, future wildland firefighting efforts, and limit sedimentation and erosion. PUG crews will work closely with USFS staff over the course of the next two summers on this project.


Trail Descriptions: GrahamTH-JohnsonCreek-PatsLake

Interested in learning more or want to volunteering on this project? Shoot us a message!            PRESS RELEASE

17. February 2023 · Comments Off on BCHI 2023 – Leadership Contact List · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

14. February 2023 · Comments Off on Trail work after a wildfire · Categories: Education

Rebuilding Trails after a Wildfire

Rebuilding Trails after a Wildfire

Unfortunately, it’s a story that repeats itself every year—wildfire racing across the landscape. As forests burn, post-wildfire recovery is becoming the norm for trail maintainers across the U.S. as these fires take a toll on popular recreation areas and natural resources. Rebuilding trails is imperative for continued use.

rebuilding trailsThe devastation that comes when you learn of a wildfire burning in a beloved area that holds fond memories is traumatic. Fires can mean a tragic loss of lives or homes. And we’re left wondering what the area will look like once the flames are extinguished. Fire changes an environment; understory vegetation is destroyed, trees are torched, and trails become moonscapes of ash.

Wildfire is an essential part of a natural landscape. But it is undeniable that wildfires can negatively impact outdoor recreation resources. In these cases, post-fire restoration can be crucial to prevent further damage and spur recovery.

The already astronomical price tag of wildfire suppression is projected to increase over the next decade. It comes at a cost to other Forest Service programs. Most of the Forest Service’s budget is spent fighting fires, not restoring those acres that have burned. Volunteer efforts are needed to maintain fire-damaged trails.

In the past several years, fire recovery has been an increasing part of Back Country Horsemen’s work to keep trails open and accessible for equine use. BCH crews work closely with land managers to ensure that trail maintenance positively impacts landscapes after a wildfire.

The Work that is Done

If you’re unfamiliar with trail work and rebuilding trails, you might be wondering, “What sort of work is needed on trails after a wildfire, and why is that work so important?”

rebuilding trails

When a BCH volunteer team attacks a fire rehab project, the first order of business generally includes removing blow-downs from the trail corridor. Fire-scorched trees with compromised root systems tend to topple due to wind and weather, making it very challenging for those on horseback to get down the trail. Riding around sections of blow creates a maze of “social” trails, increasing erosion of the main throughway. By clearing blow down, we’re making the ride more manageable and more enjoyable, and keeping all users on the same path reduces the impact on the land.

Once the deadfall is removed, tread and erosion control measures are tackled. “Tread” is the trail – the hardened surface our ponies travel on. Tread, as all horsemen know, is frequently studded with roots. Many of those roots burn during a fire, leaving dangerous holes in the tread. Sweating BCH volunteers fill each of those holes to keep the trail safe for stock use.

Erosion control measures are undertaken once the deadfall is cleared and the holes filled. Post-fire trails without these structures can soon turn into vast trenches where the sides of the trail brush against your horse’s belly. These constructions are built with native stone, timber, and sweat.


How You Can Help

rebuilding trails

Once you understand the work that must be accomplished after wildfire rolls through, it’s essential to appreciate how it is executed. Many BCH volunteer work projects take place in designated Wilderness, where only non-motorized tools are permitted. Wilderness trail work takes you back to a time before mechanization. Fallen trees are removed with crosscut saws powered by muscle, trail tread is re-built with well-worn picks, and water bars are installed with shovels and grit.

The sweat-stained clothes of trail crew volunteers remind us that repairing trails after a wildfire is hard work. Still, the miles of new and improved trails are a valuable reward to every trail user. Please think of the efforts that volunteers put into keeping your trail system open. Consider helping keep your trails open by joining a trails advocacy organization, such as Back Country Horsemen. Even if you don’t have the horsepower to muscle a Pulaski, you can still assist in many ways. Trail work support can be helping coordinate resources and calendars to feeding the volunteers at a base camp.

14. February 2023 · Comments Off on Easy Deworming -Trail Meister · Categories: Education

Deworming used to be an ordeal that neither the horses nor I enjoyed. I would sneak up to the horse, grab the halter tight, and jam the dewormer tube in his mouth. It was a vain attempt to get the job done quickly before the inevitable fight. Not only did this make the horse defensive, but it also made the process downright dangerous. Deworming days were dreaded by all involved. It doesn’t have to be.

I now look at deworming as an ongoing process, not an event to be avoided. If you take the time to make administering oral medications a regular part of your routine, the process can become much more manageable and worry-free. My goal is for deworming to be a casual kind of event. No worries, no fuss, and most importantly, no drama. Here’s how I get my animals to relax and accept their meds.

1 – Accept the Tube

The first step is getting him used to having the tube around him. I rub an empty applicator all over him. If he fights it, I hold the tube on him until he stops resisting then I take it away. Approach and retreat are key here. As soon as the horse stops moving, I remove the tube. I’ve had horses where at first, I couldn’t even approach them with the tube. In those cases, I start by just standing near them and then slowly progress to touching them. Take your time and be relaxed.

2 – Add the Sweet Stuff

Once your horse can tolerate having an empty tube resting on his face without any fuss, it’s time to up the ante and ask him to take the tube in his mouth. It helps to have the tube filled with something good. I like using applesauce. Fill an empty dewormer, or a similar type of tube, with applesauce. Don’t bother wiping off any residue. Gently place the tube near the horse’s mouth so he can smell and taste the applesauce on the outside. Once the horse learns that the tube contains something yummy, you’ll be able to gently depress the plunger and squirt the contents into his mouth. Repeat this practice “deworming” with the good stuff until the process is smooth and easy. When my horses see a deworming tube now, they come running for their treat.

3 – Deworm

Once your animals are excited and happy when they see the deworming tube, it’s time to use something that reduces internal parasites better than applesauce. Now is the time to use a little deception and then a lot of apologies.  Before heading out with a real dewormer, I smear the outside with applesauce and fill an empty tube with applesauce. The coating on the outside of the real dewormer will help disguise the foul smell and taste until it’s too late, and the applesauce-filled tube serves as an apology. Always end on a positive note. If you administer the nasty medication and finish the process there, your horse will remember it longer than you.

4 – Return to the Sweet Stuff

To reinforce the idea that 99.9% of the time a dewormer tube is a good thing, I follow up with applesauce shots for the next few days after applying a real dewormer. Until once again, the ponies come running when they see the tubes. Once a month, I break out the applesauce tubes to keep the good vibes going.

I rely on my horses and mules to get me into wild and fabulous places. Part of preparing them for that requires regular preventive medical care, including deworming or administering any oral medications. I want my animals to trust me. I work towards that goal by making what used to be an unpleasant experience something to be enjoyed.

For more practical information on trail riding and camping with horses, visit me at  From the TrailMeister website, you can not only surf the world’s most extensive guide to horse trails and camps, but you can also order my new book, The ABCs of Trail Riding and Camping with Horses.  With 178 topics, oer 315 pages, covering Essential Knowledge for horse owners, from training tips to outdoor skills to increase your safety and fun on the trail and in camp. Here’s the link

14. February 2023 · Comments Off on Celebration Park – A good route with a truck & trailer · Categories: Fun Rides

VIDEO of Past Ride

The recommended route from Emmett to the park is to take Highway 16 down to the intersection with Idaho 20-26.  Turn right and drive to Robinson Road.  Take Robinson road south all the way to it’s intersection with CAN-ADA Road.  Turn LEFT (South)


Continue down CAN-ADA to Victory Lane, you will see the “Second Sign” pointing to the park, Turn RIGHT and follow it to the trailer Parking area.

09. February 2023 · Comments Off on Salmon-Challis National Forest – Updates · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE: SCNF Partnerships Newsletter Feb 2023

READ MORE: SCNF Partnership and Volunteer Program Strategy FY 2023

I am writing to tell you that my wife Nancy passed yesterday afternoon. She had fond memories of all of you and the good times spent in your company.

Robbin Schindele
High Haven House
PO Box 342
Glide, OR 97443
208.365.1789 /

03. February 2023 · Comments Off on BCHA Monthly Updates – February 2023 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

31. January 2023 · Comments Off on Horse Sense a Guide to Minimum Impact Horse Camping · Categories: Education

Stock Packing References – 2023

30. January 2023 · Comments Off on BCHA Newsletter – Winter 2023 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


30. January 2023 · Comments Off on USFS Training available to Trail Volunteers · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education


30. January 2023 · Comments Off on Meet SBFC’s new Executive Director! · Categories: Around The Campfire

Greetings SBFC members and friends,

It is my privilege to announce the hiring of Ryan Ghelfi as the next Executive Director of the Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation. Ryan brings with him a lifelong passion for all things Wilderness. Ryan has a degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Southern Oregon University. In his resume, Ryan describes himself as “an outdoor professional with a wide breadth of experience in the mountains and in business with a lifelong passion for Wilderness, trails, and maintaining access to our vast public lands.” When you meet Ryan, you will see why we are so excited to have him leading our team.

Ryan and his family will be moving from Ashland Oregon to McCall, Idaho in February. Ryan and his wife have two children with a third due in April. In Ashland, Ryan owned two Wilderness related businesses and was the treasurer for the Siskiyou Mountain Club. Ryan was a professional long distance runner from 2014-2020. He held speed records for ascents of Half Dome and Mt. Shasta. Please join me in welcoming Ryan into the SBFC community.

Ryan will begin his new position on March 1 after spending time working with outgoing Executive Director, Sally Ferguson, to assure a smooth transition.

Jim Heidelberger; SBFC Board Chair

19. January 2023 · Comments Off on Chainsaw Maintenance Video · Categories: Education

Link to Video

Best Chainsaw Sharpener Ever – ?

19. January 2023 · Comments Off on McDonald’s ice cream is popular in Australia · Categories: Around The Campfire

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia — Sometimes you just want McDonald’s ice cream and sometimes you’re a horse.

That was the case for one tiny horse in Australia.

The horse was spotted in the drive-thru at a McDonald’s in New South Wales.

Video taken by human drive-thru customer Donna Bevan showed the horse waiting patiently in the backseat of another car.

She posted the video to TikTok last week.

Bevan told Storyful she first thought the animal was a “huge white dog” until she looked again.

The driver of the other vehicle told Bevan the horse’s name is Rocco.

“He’s excited for his ice cream!” the driver shouted.

Bevan called seeing a horse waiting in a car for McDonald’s soft serve an “unbelievable sight.”

18. January 2023 · Comments Off on Honoring SBFC’s Executive Director – Sally Ferguson · Categories: Around The Campfire


12. January 2023 · Comments Off on BCHI 2023 State Convention · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

Registration and Information (PDF)

Lodging Info

PAST CONVENTIONS   2022     2019    2018

2023 STATE CONVENTION – MARCH 17-18, 2023 Hosted by
Salmon River Back Country Horsemen
at the Elks Lodge, 901 Lombard Street, Salmon, ID 83467
45 Years of Tales from the Trails
$85 per person by 2/15/23 (non-refundable)
$100 per person after 2/15/23 deadline (non-refundable)
To help with planning, it would be appreciated if registrations are sent prior to the deadline.
The registration fee covers Friday and Saturday’s lunches and refreshments, Saturday’s presentations and entertainment, and Saturday’s prime rib dinner.
Make checks payable to SRBCH
Send registration form and check to:
Celeste Bingham, SRBCH Treasurer, PO Box 82, Carmen, ID 83462

Meals included: Lunch on Friday & Saturday. Prime rib dinner on Saturday night. No breakfast at the convention.
• Register your photo Friday evening or Saturday morning by 9:00 am at the Registration Desk.
• The photo contest consists of the following categories:
•Animals in the Backcountry — wildlife, horses, mules, bugs, etc.
•Backcountry Horsemen Activities
• Backcountry Scenic Views – wildflowers, seasons, river, water, bridges
• Photos are to be taken by BCH amateur photographers
• Pictures that have won a prize previously are not eligible
• Attach your name, address, club name, and category to the back of the photo. No frames, please.
Each chapter is asked to share a three (3) minute fun story from the trail.
LOCAL LODGING (mention Backcountry Horsemen for special pricing)
Stagecoach Inn 201 Riverfront Drive 208-744-3566 Super 8 104 Courthouse Drive 208-756-8880