Youth Trail Crew

This was ITA’s third season for our Youth Trail Crew program. Volunteers ages 14-18 came out for seven different projects and cleared 22 miles of trails! Seeing teens experience living and working together in a new, challenging environment, growing connections with each other and the land, has been beyond rewarding.

“It’s really given me unforgettable experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” Daunika, ITA Youth Trail Crew Volunteer

Video premiere! Check out our new video about our Youth Trail Crew program.

Boise Foothills hikers and cyclists can now check trail conditions before leaving the house.

Ridge to Rivers, the group that manages the Foothills trail system, created an interactive map with live updates on specific trail conditions. The map will tell users if a trail is dry, snowy, muddy, or frozen, when it thaws, and when to stay off. It also gives a trail description along with who or what is permitted, such as off-leash dogs, horses, or bikes.

Ridge to Rivers says that using trails when they are muddy is the leading cause of damage in the Boise Foothills because of the high clay content in the ground. Trail widening, rutting and erosion are common outcomes when using wet trails.

“Displaying up-to-date trail conditions on the interactive map will allow users to make informed decisions when planning a hike or ride during the muddy trail season,” said Ridge to Rivers Manager David Gordon. “With more than 200 miles of trails throughout the system, there are great alternatives and all-weather options for folks to utilize when temperatures drop, and wet weather moves in. This new interactive map feature will help guide those decisions.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hosting a wild horse adoption walk-up event and Trainer Incentive Program pick-up at the Boise Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.  If you miss this event but are interested, contact the BLM, they always are looking for good homes for the many animals they have available.

There will be 50 wild horses available ranging in age from yearlings to ten years. These horses primarily come from Herd Management Areas in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Wild horses and burros available for adoption have been removed from overpopulated herds roaming western public rangelands. A BLM-approved application, which may be completed at the event, is required to adopt.

For more information about adopting a wild horse or burro, visit Wild Horse and Burro | Bureau of Land Management ( or contact the national information center at 866-468-7826 or


The BLM works to place excess animals into private care through its Adoption and Sales Programs as well as successful partnerships with organizations across the nation.  Many have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro.  It is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage. Read more >>

Learn more about:

The BLM strives to provide valuable information to the public regarding the Wild Horse and Burro Program, including wild horse and burro adoption and purchase opportunities, information about upcoming gathers and more. We also encourage you to report any inhumane treatment of adopted wild horses and burros. We value your feedback.

Wild Horse and Burro Information Call Center
866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826)

Contact information for off-range corral facilities can be found on each facility webpage.

Contact your local BLM state, district or field office for specific questions regarding submitting an adoption application, obtaining title and more.

In the event of an emergency, an interactive SOS message can be sent to the 24/7 staffed Garmin Response Center. The trained staff is available to respond to messages, track devices and coordinate with emergency services or others to provide assistance, giving individuals peace of mind in the scariest of situations. Garmin Response stays in touch with individuals until help arrives or until they no longer require assistance.

With 100% global Iridium® satellite network coverage, an SOS can be triggered globally.* That includes lesser traveled places — the southern Pacific Ocean and northern Canada, for example. It is interesting to note how conglomerations of incidents indicate mountainous regions, such as the Pacific Crest Trail in western United States, the Alps in Europe and nearly all of New Zealand.

The locations of SOS incidents speak to the power of the Iridium satellite network, the intel of inReach technology, and the sophisticated inner workings of Garmin Response and its ability to make timely connections with local emergency resources in almost any region of the world.

In the event of an emergency, an interactive SOS message can be sent to the 24/7 staffed Garmin Response Center. The trained staff is available to respond to messages, track devices and coordinate with emergency services or others to provide assistance, giving individuals peace of mind in the scariest of situations. Garmin Response stays in touch with individuals until help arrives or until they no longer require assistance.


With 100% global Iridium® satellite network coverage, an SOS can be triggered globally.* That includes lesser traveled places — the southern Pacific Ocean and northern Canada, for example. It is interesting to note how conglomerations of incidents indicate mountainous regions, such as the Pacific Crest Trail in western United States, the Alps in Europe and nearly all of New Zealand.

The locations of SOS incidents speak to the power of the Iridium satellite network, the intel of inReach technology, and the sophisticated inner workings of Garmin Response and its ability to make timely connections with local emergency resources in almost any region of the world.

11. October 2022 · Comments Off on 2022 End of Season Potluck – All Welcome! · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

2022 End of Season Potluck

30. September 2022 · Comments Off on ITA – Fall 2022 Update · Categories: Current Events

29. September 2022 · Comments Off on Salmon-Challis Temp Jobs posting · Categories: Current Events

2023 SCNFTemp Outreach_Final Sep19

27. September 2022 · Comments Off on USFS – Outreach for Summer 2023 Wild/Trails · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

2023 Trails / Wild Outreach

18. September 2022 · Comments Off on Miniature Horse Social Fun Club -Tack & Barn Sale · Categories: Current Events

16. September 2022 · Comments Off on ITA invites you to the National Public Lands Day Dinner · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

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

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

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

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


14. September 2022 · Comments Off on “Sehewoki’I Newenee’an Katete” is Gem County’s new official name for Squaw Butte · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. September 2022 · Comments Off on Will ITD make changes to busy Idaho 55 intersection at Banks? · Categories: Current Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30. August 2022 · Comments Off on Here’s what the Great American Outdoors Act will bring Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work in the Treasure Valley and beyond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Projects in the Boise National Forest


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

Total: $1.3 million in approved projects.

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

Total: $1.3 million in approved projects.


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

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

What is National Public Lands Day (NPLD)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside this story:

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


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

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
Phone: 530-615-1326

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 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:

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

20220414_VSPortal_PartnerTraining v2

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?


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

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!

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

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


Salmon-Challis National Forest:

Salmon-Challis National Forest – Home ( Salmon-Challis National Forest – Recreation (

Salmon-Challis National Forest – About the Forest (

Salmon Community:

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

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 (

Challis Community:

Mackay Community:

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 or 208-756-5551.


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
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 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.

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:

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

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


04. January 2022 · Comments Off on ITA – Trail Talks · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Education

07. December 2021 · Comments Off on Sunday December 5th – Christmas Cheer Event · Categories: Current Events, Fun Rides

Members of Back Country Horsemen and the public rode in Emmett to four nursing homes to bring Christmas Cheer! Thanks to our incoming President Heather for organizing!

28. November 2021 · Comments Off on 2021 Emmett Holiday Lights Parade · Categories: Current Events

Saturday November 27, 2021 Handed out a few flyers, one woman even said she will come to the meeting this week.  Regardless of drumming up new members it was a fun event and many people commented it was nice to see our organization supporting the community.  Dan Waugh

19. November 2021 · Comments Off on November 28, Highway 55 will remain closed due to rockslide · Categories: Current Events

READ LATEST INFO at Idaho Transportation Department
UPDATE #7: 3:30 P.M. 11/28/2021

Idaho State Highway 55 between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley Road will remain closed another seven to 10 days depending on weather. Construction crews made significant progress today (November 29) shoring up the rockslide area near the Rainbow Bridge about 20 miles south of Cascade, Idaho.

The crews completed construction of a rock structure, known as a buttress, approximately 20 feet tall and 400 feet long to stabilize the base of the slide. The next step is to remove slide debris, install drainage systems above the buttress and widen the roadway to two lanes before the winter.

 “We have made very good progress and stabilized the slide area. This allows crews to remove excess rock from the hillside and begin building a two way road around the slide area,” said Jason Brinkman, ITD District 3 Engineering Manager. “Our goal is to finish the work as quickly as possible while also focusing on both the safety of the construction team and the public once the road reopens.”

Until the highway is reopened, travelers can use U.S. Highway 95 as an alternate route. 

Folks heading to the McCall area for Thanksgiving will need to plan to take Highway 95.

The Idaho Transportation Department on Friday said the highway will remain closed between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley Road through Thanksgiving due to a rockslide that occurred on Thursday.

“We understand the inconvenience closing down the road causes, but our objective is to ensure the corridor is safe for travel,” said Jason Brinkman, ITD District 3 engineering manager. “These decisions are not taken lightly. We appreciate the public’s continued patience as we work to clear the material and reopen the road safely.”

Geotechnical experts are on-site evaluating the safety and stability of the slope and figuring out how much material needs to be removed.

19. November 2021 · Comments Off on Food Bank & PAL – Delivering Chapter Donations · Categories: Current Events

Squaw Butte Chapter officers deliver Checks and food donations to the Gem County Food Bank and PALS
Scott Morgan, Heather Donesky & granddaughter, Ron Fergie, Pictures taken by Lisa Deas.

19. November 2021 · Comments Off on November 19, 2021 BCHI Chapter may get a new name? · Categories: Current Events

The Squaw Butte Ridge is about 8 miles long, runs generally north to south, and has a steep eastern front that rises from about 2500 feet near Sweet and Ola, Idaho to 5500-5800 along the top of the ridge. If viewed from the south or east, it appears that the Squaw Butte ridge is a separate or island-like mountain. Native Americans used the slopes of Squaw Butte as their wintering ground and it’s been claimed that they, not the white man, assigned the Squaw name to this prominent landmark. Nearby Timber Butte is also known as a wintering area and the region’s volcanic rock has been used by natives to quarry and make weapons. In the early 1800’s white men settled the area as ranchers, farmers, and gold miners. The tiny towns of Ola, Sweet, Montour, Letha, and Roystone were some of the first settlements with the town of Emmett developing into a prosperous fruit farming area (due in part to the fertile soil).

Interior Secretary Haaland moves to rid U.S. of racially derogatory place names

  • U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that the federal agency will establish a process to review and replace racially derogatory terms used in place names.
  • Haaland, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet secretary, said a newly-created federal advisory committee will review and recommend changes to derogatory geographic and federal land names.
  • She also declared the term “squaw,” a pejorative for Indigenous women, to be derogatory and ordered to remove the term from federal usage.
  • U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Friday that the federal agency will establish a process to review and replace racially derogatory terms used in place names.

    Haaland, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet secretary, said a newly-created federal advisory committee will review and recommend changes to derogatory federal land names, according to a U.S. Department of Interior press release.

    The committee, through a new Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force, will consult with the public and tribal representatives on potential place name changes.

    Haaland also declared the term “squaw,” a pejorative for Indigenous women, to be derogatory, the press release said. She ordered the Board Geographic Names, the federal body tasked with naming geographic places, to develop procedures that would remove the term from federal usage.

    “Squaw” currently appears in the names of more than 650 federal land units, according to Board Geographic Names data.

    “Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands. Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage – not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression,” Haaland said in the press release.  

    “Today’s actions will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names and mark a significant step in honoring the ancestors who have stewarded our lands since time immemorial,” she said.

    Haaland noted that it typically takes years for the Board of Geographic Names to replace place names as their review process is by a case-by-case basis. There are currently hundreds of name changes pending before the board, according to the press release.

    The new federal advisory committee aims to make this process more efficient by facilitating a “proactive and systematic development and review” of name change proposals, the press release said.

    Some advocates welcomed Haaland’s Friday announcement, saying that the move by the federal government is long overdue.

    “Names that still use derogatory terms are an embarrassing legacy of this country’s colonialist and racist past,” said John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund, in a statement. “It is well-past time for us, as a nation, to move forward, beyond these derogatory terms, and show Native people — and all people — equal respect.”

    “We applaud Secretary Halaand for taking action to make our federal government and public lands more inclusive and respectful of Native peoples,” Echohawk continued.

    Paul Spitler, senior legislative policy manager of non-profit land conservation organization The Wilderness Society, also applauded the announcement.

    “The names of our mountains and rivers should honor and reflect our nation’s great diversity, and advance dignity for all people,” Spitler said in a statement Friday. “We support the Biden administration’s actions to eliminate the thousands of racist and offensive place names on public lands and to work with diverse populations in local communities to create more equitable and inclusive outdoor spaces for all people.”

    The Secretary of Interior and Board of Geographic Names have made similar moves to replace derogatory place names and terms over the years.

    In 1962, then-Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall directed the board to eliminate the use of the N-word. And in 1974, the board identified a pejorative term for “Japanese” as derogatory and eliminated its use as well.

    The board also voted in 2008 to change the name of a mountain in Phoenix from “Squaw” Peak to Piestewa Peak, in honor of Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military.

    Some states have also passed legislation to prohibit the use of the word “squaw” in place names, including Oregon, Maine, Montana and Minnesota, according to the press release.

    Earlier this year, Congressional Democrats also introduced legislation in July to rename more than 1,000 places in the U.S. that feature offensive language and racist slurs, Business Insider reported.

    Name changing has also occurred in the private sector. In September, the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in California changed its name to Palisades Tahoe. The ski resort is in the Olympic valley, which was formerly known as “Squaw” Valley until it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

04. November 2021 · Comments Off on SBFC Mountainfilm is Back!! · Categories: Current Events


01. November 2021 · Comments Off on PUG – That’s a wrap on our 2021 season! · Categories: Current Events

01. November 2021 · Comments Off on ITA – Old Saw – November 2021 · Categories: Current Events


08. October 2021 · Comments Off on ITA Old Saw October – 2021 · Categories: Current Events


26. September 2021 · Comments Off on Frank Church – Boundary Fire Update · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands


07. September 2021 · Comments Off on End of Season Potluck – Members & Guest · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

2021 End of Season Potluck

26. August 2021 · Comments Off on ID-55 at Smith Ferry Road Improvements – Update · Categories: Current Events


12. August 2021 · Comments Off on NWCG Standards for Wildland Chainsaw Operations – 2021 · Categories: Current Events, Education

Download PMS 212

31. July 2021 · Comments Off on Gem County Fair · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

As part of the deal to use the 4-H building to hold chapter meeting during the Covid-19 lockdown  Squaw Butte agreed to do a presentation at the 2021 Gem County Fair for the 4-H.  This presentation was scheduled by the fair for Saturday July 31, at 13:00 in the 4-H building.  Phil Ryan and Rob Adams agreed to do a talk on BCHAI and stock camping on Public Lands.  Both arrived at 11:00 to get the lay of the land and to make sure they were set up and ready to go at 13:00.  After wandering around for while looking for an Information booth or schedule they tried the fair office and were in luck, someone was there and said yes, we were scheduled for 13:00 at the 4-H build, but they were sorry to say they didn’t do event schedules this year an oversite and as the steer, lamb and hog sale was going on it was unlikely we would have many show up.  They were right, we had three, a couple enjoying the AC for a few minutes and a young girl who told us about her rabbit.  If interested the high steer went for 7,500, the average steer went between 5 & 6 K and prime sheep between 1,500 and 2,000.  They had not gotten to hogs before we left.

From the bidding pen to your freezer

So, to summarize: A 1200 steer, ½ inch fat, average muscling, yields a 750 pound carcass. The 750 pound carcass yields approximately:

  • 490 pounds boneless trimmed beef
  • 150 pounds fat trim
  • 110 pounds bone

A specific example of how the 490 pounds of boneless, trimmed beef could break out includes:

  • 185 pounds lean trim, or ground beef
  • 85 pounds round roasts and steaks
  • 90 pounds chuck roasts and steaks
  • 80 pounds rib and loin steaks
  • 50 pounds other cuts (brisket, flank, short ribs, skirt steak)

Maybe this helps explain how the products from a 1200 pound steer to fit in your freezer!


4-H’ers must own or manage their lamb at least 60 days prior to our County Fair. Lambs should weigh somewhere
around 65 – 70 pounds by June 1, in order to reach the minimum weight of 100 pounds by fair. If the lamb is wormed,
proper genetics have been followed and good feed has been given they should gain at least .6 pounds a day. A 100 pound lamb will yield around 40 pounds of meet in your freezer.

If we do this again in the future Saturday at 13:00 is not a prime time to generate interest in BCHI!



28. July 2021 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife – PRIVATE LAND CONSERVATION, PUBLIC LAND BENEFITS · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Picture this

A cow elk gives birth to a calf in the mountains of Idaho.

The calf spends the next six months in its lush summer range before following a well-worn migratory path to a neighboring valley to spend the winter.

That critical winter habitat includes property owned by a family who manages the land to benefit their ranching operation.

The calf, a bull, returns winter after winter to that same ranch in the valley.

Years later a hunter hears the shrill bugle of a bull elk high on a mountain one September morning. Slowly the hunter inches closer. Finally within shooting range, they shoot, their arrow finding it’s target, the bull providing a year’s worth of meat to the hunter’s family.

The story of the hunter and the bull, one common across Idaho, was made possible thanks to the benefits private land provided to that animal during its lifetime.

Private lands in Idaho

Roughly 31% of the land in Idaho is privately owned. Wildlife, of course, does not adhere to the same property boundaries as humans. Migratory species especially rely on a patchwork of land ownership to survive from year to year, whether that land is someone’s private ranch, farm, or expansive BLM-managed sagebrush steppe.

So shouldn’t habitat conservation efforts be just as diverse?

This is where the US Fish and Wildlife’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners Program) comes into play.

Working alongside willing landowners and within designated priority landscapes, the Partners Program began in 2006 and has become a shining example of the possibilities for habitat conservation on private land.

“These lands have to have three foundational components to ensure they’re viable: looking through economic, ecological and social lenses”, said Jason Pyron, a wildlife biologist with USFWS who oversees Idaho’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

Landowners tend to focus on the economic lens, while balancing that alongside social and ecological lenses. Idaho’s hunting and fishing community will keep the ecological lens at the forefront. This overlap offers many opportunities to collaborate and provide benefits to all stakeholders.

“We have some highly migratory species in Idaho, and due to the way our landscape is dissected by private lands in valley bottoms, we are at a high risk of losing significant proportions of these populations if we don’t incentivize landowners to keep these lands open. I hope the hunting and fishing community fully appreciates what these landscapes do”, added Pyron.

Where the needs of wildlife and the needs of private landowners collide is where the Partners Program comes into play.    READ MORE


Posted by Dan Waugh (

The city of Eagle is looking for inputs from trail users (Equestrians) for an ongoing project of over 1,600 acres in the northwest corner of eagle with a possibility to expand to 2,200. The city will be developing a trail system in the eagle foothills on BLM land. But, the city of eagle will run the trail system. Over 1200 citizens have been engaging so far and the city staff members are looking for more input.

Marja (360-791-1591), Arlynn (208-249-2091), and I are actively working with the project manager as the IHC Trails and Urban Spaces Committee. But, we would love to get additional views and feedback from other equestrians who will likely use this trail system. Feel free to disseminate to any and all equestrians!

PDF:  Foothills_Recreation_Plan_20_July2021_202107220914014507

Link to the Eagle Foothills Concept Plan:  New Submission (

Leave comments at the link above!

25. April 2021 · Comments Off on SOH TV Idaho Horse Expo Highlights 2021 Show · Categories: Current Events, Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Idaho Wildlife ORG
February 7, 2021


Contact: Brian Brooks, Executive Director, 208.870.7967 –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow this link to view the Congressman’s proposal.

21. December 2020 · Comments Off on Malheur Economic Recovery and Owyhee Protection Bill · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

17. December 2020 · Comments Off on ITA – Membership & New Equipment Drive · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

As part of our membership drive, we are bringing you weekly updates about some of the programs your donations are helping to make happen!
These tools are OLD!
Since our humble beginnings in 2010, ITA volunteers have spent a decade maintaining hundreds of miles of non-motorized trail in Idaho. This means that our trail work tools have spent 10 years in the field cutting brush, digging tread, mining rock, and sawing logs. Every season our tools travel across the state, from project to project, enabling our volunteers in their stewardship of Idaho’s hiking trails. The current ITA cache is a hodgepodge of Forest Service hand-me-downs, donations from our Board and members, and additional tools paid for by supplemental grants.

These tools have served us well! Our tools traverse the ridges of the Frank Church Wilderness, summit the Sawtooth peaks, boat the wild Salmon and Snake rivers. They brave the snow and sizzle in the heat of summer. Hundreds of volunteers have taken their first Pulaski swing with an ITA tool. Our seasoned equipment has gotten crew after crew of like-minded Idahoans out in the woods to enjoy the best of what Idaho has to offer.

As ITA has continued its steady growth, our tools have been tasked with more and more. They’ve been spread thin. They’ve grown tired. There have been casualties. Every season a few of our hard-working tools succumb to the abuse they receive in their mission to keep Idaho’s trails open. Wobbly shovel heads and wonky pulaskis become the norm when tools are pushed to their breaking point. 2021 will see a continued expansion of our trail program and an increased demand on our tool cache.

With the addition of six week-long youth projects and two Women Only Week-longs, ITA will have more projects running concurrently than ever before. That’s why we are seeking to raise an additional $2,500 this year to fully outfit a 12-person crew with new tools. These tools will ensure that every volunteer that wants to help maintain Idaho’s trails has access to the tools to do so. This cache will allow us to retire some of our older tools that have served many seasons beyond their prime and help us avoid excessive tool-trailer shuttling. These tools will set up ITA for success in 2021!

Will you join us in supporting Idaho’s trails by becoming a member and helping us purchase the tools we need for a strong 2021 season? JOIN or RENEW your Membership


16. December 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho Rangeland – Fall Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events