03. March 2017 · Comments Off on CPR & Wilderness First Aid Refresher · Categories: Current Events, Training Events

CPR & Wilderness First Aid Refresher – Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 08:00 to 17:00
Location: Bogus Basin Office, 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd, Boise, ID 83702
This class has a limit on the number of participants, so Sign up Now!
This hands on day is being hosted by members of the Bogus Basin Ski Patrol
Lead instructor – Karen Alfonso-King
This day is very hands on and is tailored to the types of medical situations that we are likely to encounter.
Squaw Butte Member cost is $20, non-members $50 (the chapter will be cost sharing with members)

Sign up for this event like you would for any other chapter ride or project.
Contact: Marybeth Conger, 208-369-0769 Education@sbbchidaho.org

More Pictures
Bogus Basin Ticket Office, 2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd,Boise, ID 83702

It is also highly recommended you have one of these books in your library and take it with you into the back country.

02. March 2017 · Comments Off on Back Country Horsemen of Idaho – Video 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Utube URL: (https://youtu.be/zZegBv0B2cc)

This video is the work of Robbin Schindele & Marybeth Conger


02. March 2017 · Comments Off on March 2017 Education Report · Categories: Current Events

Marybeth Conger (BCHI Education Chair)

Squaw Butte BCH Education report
Respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger
March 2, 2017 meeting

CPR & Wilderness First Aide Refresher Course– Proposed 4 dates Sat March 25, Sat April 15, Sat may 27 or Sat June 17. Waiting to hear back from Karen Alfonso-King.

Idaho Horse Expo- http://idahohorsecouncil.com Bill Conger taking lead to coordinate a Packing demonstration with the Event coordinator. This is a great educational and public outreach opportunity for Back Country Horseman. More details to follow.

LNT Master Education Course- Nine Mile Remount is no longer offering this course. Back Country Horsemen of California (BCHC) http://www.bchcalifornia.org was nationally recognized for leadership in Leave No Trace education of stock use. In 2015 they were awarded the contract to provide the only Leave No Trace Stock Master Educator course in the country. BCHC earned this remarkable opportunity through hard work, sustained effort in promoting environmental friendly land use with stock.

Back Country Horsemen of California provides the “Leave No Trace” Stock Coarse regularly every April, it is switched from Northern California to Southern California each year as well as offering additional classes as the needed. They also can provide a Team of Instructors to travel to your State under special arrangements.
BCHI Education report- Will be presented at BOD meeting and convention. Look for full report on the SBBCH Blog

24. February 2017 · Comments Off on Where does Idaho stand in federal land transfer debates? · Categories: Current Events

PUBLIC LANDS — Idaho can build its brand on the 62 percent of the state that is owned by the federal government, or it can isolate itself like Utah by rejecting the outdoor recreation industry and advocates for public access, says Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman.

“Think about that as you measure the people who will seek to be our next governor and represent us at all levels of government.” Barker makes his case based on the experience of politicians and other people in the state who didn’t need Utah’s bad example to realize that plunging into debt to take over federal lands would not be the solution to their issues.

Outdoor retailers pull their show from Utah, a shot heard all around the West

By Rocky Barker

Utah’s unrelenting drive to take over federal lands and to place the state’s oil and gas industry over all other interests is finally hitting the state in the pocketbook.

On Feb. 16, the businesses that sponsor the outdoor industry’s largest trade show, Outdoor Retailer, decided Salt Lake City can not bid to host its 2018 summer and winter markets. The rejection by the shows that bring $45 million into Utah’s economy came after its legislature, governor and congressional delegation all called on President Trump to revoke the recent designation of the Bear’s Ear National Monument. Obama designated the monument in the southeast corner of the state, using the Antiquities Act of 1906, on Dec. 28.

Companies like Black Diamond, Patagonia, The North Face and REI have joined in these twice-yearly trade shows in Salt Lake City for 20 years, attracting thousands of people from around the world. Before they decided to go elsewhere, the companies’ executives pleaded with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to reconsider.

The shows are big — so big, in fact, that Boise doesn’t have enough convention center space to be a host. But Idaho can learn from Utah’s economically foolish and strategically short-sighted mistake.

Outdoor recreation contributes $6.3 billion worth of economic activity in Idaho annually, with $2.2 billion of that as direct sales and services. Idaho has 37,000 jobs tied to outdoor recreation.

“I’ll call it a crisp slap in the face, a wake-up call from dollars-and-sense business people,” said Rick Johnson, Idaho Conservation League executive director. “I’ll also call it a warning shot about growing political power, a changing American West, and a reaction to the challenging political times we’re in.”

The idea of state takeover of federal lands is attractive and even popular with some Idaho Republicans — until they learn the true cost. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson estimates the process of transferring and managing the land would cost the state a half-billion dollars annually if it somehow took ownership of the federal land in the state.

“When the state can’t afford it then they’ll starting selling some of it off, and guess what they’ll sell?” Simpson said when he spoke to the Boise City Club in December. “They’ll sell the most beautiful areas to some billionaire in Texas, who then won’t let you cross those lands now so you won’t be able to get to your fishing hole.”

The Idaho Legislature examined the issue for two years. It concluded that the state would be better working collaboratively with people from across the political spectrum to improve public lands management than continuing the fight attorneys generals across the West who say the case can’t be won in court. Some hope that Congress will give states control over the public lands in pilot projects like Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador and Sen. Jim Risch propose. Or that perhaps states will get veto power over federal land management plans or national monument designations.

Others, like Simpson, recognize that public land management is always complex and that people will be mad at the landlord no matter who it is. “Our public lands are why we live here and we need to defend them and we should not sell them off and we should not return them to the state of Idaho,” Simpson said to applause from the City Club audience that honored him and Johnson for their work on the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness.

In 2016, Simpson worked to restore funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses off-shore federal oil and gas royalties for grants to projects like the Boise Greenbelt and protecting the Sawtooth Valley and the Boise Foothills. He was recognized as a Friend of the Outdoor Industry by a national trade group that is headed by Amy Roberts, a former staffer for Idaho Gov. Phil Batt and a former Micron lobbyist.

Members in Roberts’ Outdoor Industry Association go beyond retailers, or even recreation and tourism businesses. Clif Bar, which opened a $90 million, 300,000-square-foot bakery in Twin Falls to make energy bars aimed at outdoor adventurers, is a member. Roberts and her members have a vision. “We have this common interest in public lands, making that a centerpiece of what the western economies can be about,” Roberts said.

That vision is growing and it’s not in conflict with industries like farming, logging, ranching, energy and mining. The ICL’s Johnson will speak to the Boise Chamber of Commerce March 15. One of his groups’ sponsors is Midas Gold, a company seeking to do mining and restoration near Yellow Pine. The “common interest” Roberts describes is shared by skiers, snowshoers, climbers, hikers, campers, mountain-bikers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and the businesses that serve and employ them. Snowmobilers, motorcyclists and ATV riders also recognize the power of public lands.

“As citizens of the United States, public land is our birthright,” said Martin Hackworth, executive director of Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition, a group of motorized users representing 7,000 people. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s a source of national pride and something I’m not eager to surrender.”

Idaho can build its brand on the 62 percent of the state that is owned by the federal government, or it can isolate itself like Utah by rejecting these voices. Think about that as you measure the people who will seek to be our next governor and represent us at all levels of government.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

Public lands rally, conference in March
▪  Outdoor enthusiasts will hold a rally on the steps of the Idaho Capitol March 4 to show support for keeping Idaho’s public lands in public hands. The rally will begin at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol. More information: https://www.facebook.com/Idahoansforpubliclands
▪  The Andrus Center for Public Policy hosts a conference March 28, “Why Public Lands Matter,” at Boise State University. More information: https://sps.boisestate.edu/andruscenter/why-public-lands-matter/

18. February 2017 · Comments Off on H.R.289 – GO Act (Guides and Outfitters Act) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

A bill introduced in the House in January would authorize the Federal land management agencies to require permits, and charge fees for them, for all access to “special areas.” That term would mean whatever the agency managers wanted it to mean. They could, if they so chose, declare all federal public lands to be “special areas.”

Please take a moment NOW to contact your federal elected officials and tell them you oppose the bill unless that clause is eliminated from it.

H.R.289 – GO Act  Read the complete bill here

Introduced in House (01/04/2017)
Guides and Outfitters Act or the GO Act
This bill amends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to specify the circumstances in which the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) may: (1) issue special recreation permits for federal recreational lands and waters, and (2) charge a special recreation permit fee for them.

Interior and USDA may issue special recreation permits: for specialized individual and group use of federal facilities and federal recreational lands and waters; to recreation service providers who conduct outfitting, guiding, and other recreation services on federal recreational lands and waters; and to recreation service providers who conduct recreation or competitive events, which may involve incidental sales on federal recreational lands and waters.

Interior and USDA shall issue joint permits for the use of lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Interior shall publish guidelines for establishing recreation permit fees.

Revenues from special recreation permits issued to recreation service providers shall be used to: (1) offset partially Interior’s direct cost of administering permits, and (2) improve and streamline the permitting process.

When reviewing and adjusting allocations for the use of priority use permits for special uses of federal recreational lands and water managed by the Forest Service USDA shall allocate to the permit holder a prescribed amount subject to a cap. USDA and Interior shall implement a program that authorizes temporary permits for new recreational uses of federal recreational lands and waters managed by the Forest Service or the BLM, respectively.

A permit holder prohibited by a state from indemnifying the federal government shall be considered to be in compliance with Interior and USDA indemnification requirements if the permit holder carries the required minimum amount of liability insurance coverage or is self-insured for the same minimum amount.

Interior and USDA shall revise certain: special land use and special recreation permit regulations to streamline the processes for the issuance and renewal of outfitter and guide special use permits, and cost recovery fee regulations to reduce costs and minimize the burden of cost recovery on small businesses and adverse impacts of cost recovery on jobs in the outfitting and guiding industry and on rural economies.

If a holder of a special use permit for outfitting and guiding that authorizes priority use has requested renewal of the permit, USDA may grant one or more exiting permit extensions for additional items for up to five years altogether, as necessary to allow completion of the renewal process and avoid the interruption of services under the permit.

It’s essential that members of the House and Senate hear from their constituents before this bill goes any further toward being enacted. The part of Section 2 that treats general access by individuals and families as a “specialized use” must be removed.

01. February 2017 · Comments Off on Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman Education Report – Feb 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman Education Report
Respectfully submitted by Marybeth Conger, SBBCH Education
Feb 1, 2017

Backcountry Horseman of Idaho’s Education and Recruitment (EAR) Video will be presented to BCHI BOD this March at the upcoming director’s meeting. Members will soon be able to download the EAR video from the BCHI website. All photos were taken by BCHI members. EAR video begins with BCHA, then introduces BCHI, down to the 16 BCHI chapters sowing who we are, what we do, why, with lots and lots of photos. Note- this sneak preview has a typo and is missing the “credit” page.

The Forrest Service (FS) needs to lock down the details as it pertains to the Sawyer/ Cross Cut Saw “Train the Trainer” program. Then BCHI education can determine how to implement statewide training, set trainer expectations, and support by sending 1-3 Trainers. Joe Robinson, No Central Chapter, has over 30 years’ logging/sawyer experience and agreed to work on this program with Bob Savage. A FS meeting is planned in February, MT and both Bob and Joe will attend. The initial goal is to gather details and then report back to BCHI education. Karen Kimball (PHBCH) also may attend. For now our chapter needs keep working with the local land managers.

BCHI Education is looking to develop BCHI Leadership training using the training module created by BCHW. Karen Kimball from (PHBCH) as graciously agreed to work me on this member training project. We plan to meet at the convention and discuss further. Paul McBride from PRBCH attended the BCHW 2017 Leadership Training and will be reporting to the convention. Darrell Wallace, ED for BCHW will be a great resource for BCHI too. Updating the BCHI website is still in the works. So far have received information from two of 16 chapters. Looking to receive Education information from more chapters.

Need to revitalize BCHI’s Leave No Trace (LNT) Train the Trainer program. In 2018, I plan to attend LNT Master Education Training. Then plan to visit chapters statewide who do not have access to a LNT Master Educator. May need to look at getting one more in the northern part of the state. If any chapters have folks interested, please have them contact me at education-chair@bchi.org.

BCHI will provide job descriptions, set training expectations, get an informal type of resume to support state- wide coordination.
BCHI Education was invited to participate in a BCHA subcommittee that is crafting relevant Education information for placement on the BCHA website.

01. February 2017 · Comments Off on Local Horseman Club elects new officers and appoints committee heads for 2017 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Published in Local Paper – Febuary 2017
Written by Marybeth Conger

Pictured left to right Phil Ryan- State Director, Kay Ryan- Marketing, Shannon Schantz MD – Treasurer, Marybeth Conger-Education, Charles Chick, Vice President, Loraine Chick, Calendar sales, Rob Adams- Project Coordinator, and Bill Holt, President. Officers not pictured Bill Conger- State Director, and Shelly Duff- Secretary.

The Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horseman of Idaho, is dedicated to perpetuating the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s backcountry and wilderness. For more information on how to join Back country horseman, and have fun keeping trails open for all users, visit www.sbbchidaho.org

31. January 2017 · Comments Off on 2017 National Trails Day Event Host Guide · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


31. January 2017 · Comments Off on The January 2017 Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update is attached for your review. · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Dear Interested Party’s

To assist the Forest Service in meeting its goals of reducing our carbon footprint and to achieve a sustainable operation, we are transitioning to a web‐based electronic system that allows interested parties to receive project materials and Forest information by e‐mail. This system gives you direct control over which mailing lists you are subscribed to. It’s easy, it’s good for the environment, and it gives “on‐demand” access to Forest information and projects. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the “Subscriber Preference Page” link at the bottom of this message and following the instructions on GovDelivery.com.

For additional information regarding the attached Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update, please contact Venetia Gempler, Public Affairs Officer, by phone phone at 208-373-4105 or by email vgempler@fs.fed.us.

Pioneer Fire Recovery and Restoration Update 1-27-2017

BFC North and South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project scoping comments_draft  Feb 2017


Melissa Yenko
Boise National Forest
Forest Environmental Coordinator
1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200
Boise, ID 83709
Phone: 208-373-4245
Email: myenko@fs.fed.us

The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest would like to know your concerns, questions, and suggestions regarding a proposal to mitigate threats from hazard trees, salvage merchantable dead or dying trees, decommission unauthorized routes causing resource damage, and plant tree seedlings in portions of the 2016 Pioneer Fire area. The proposal has been identified as the North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project. The responsible official for this project and the decision is Cecilia R. Seesholtz, Forest Supervisor, for the Boise National Forest.
The project area is located on National Forest System lands on the Boise National Forest, immediately north and south of Lowman, Idaho, and about 74 miles northeast of Boise, Idaho, in Boise County. Attachment 1: North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Proposed Action includes a description of the proposed action and maps with specific locations identified. The scoping letter, attachments, and additional project information are available on the project web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50789.

Read More: North Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation project

Below is some additional information regarding the Valley County Forest Restoration Summit.



29. January 2017 · Comments Off on Dear Chapter Presidents, State Directors and Public Liaisons · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events, Public Meetings

This is the draft letter of our response to the HEMINGWAY -BOULDER AND WHITE CLOUD WILDERNESS MANAGEMENT PLAN. If you have any further comments send them to me and copy Phil Ryan. If you previously sent comments to Phil put those in letter form and send to the USFS. NOTE: Your letter must include and alternate solution to your objection or they will not look at it . The comment period deadline is Jan. 31st .

The more letters the better. HB-WC Comment Letter-draft

Bob Savage
Chairman BCHI

Phil Ryan

29. January 2017 · Comments Off on 2017 National Board Meeting – Information · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

2017 National Board Meeting
Great Falls, Montana – April 20 – 22, 2017
Registration Open!

Full Registration Information:
• Full Meeting Registration ($250.00) – Includes registration packet, lunches on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, coffee and sodas, and registration to the Saturday banquet. Please note – this option does not include registration to the Thursday evening optional event.
• Thursday Evening Optional Event ($75.00) – C.M. Russell Museum and Sip N’ Dip, Includes transportation, buffet, drink tickets, & entertainment!
Partial Registration Information: (If you or your guest can only attend part(s) of the meeting, use below pricing for individual events.)
• Thursday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Thursday Evening Optional Event ($75.00) – C.M. Russell Museum and Sip N’ Dip, Includes transportation, buffet, drink tickets, & entertainment!
• Friday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Saturday Day ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
• Saturday Evening Banquet ($60.00) – Includes agenda, lunch, coffee, beverages
Flight & Hotel Information:
Fly Into – Great Falls, Montana
Hotel – Holiday Inn Great Falls, 1100 5th St. South, Great Falls, MT 59405
Hotel Reservations – To reserve your room call 1-406-727-7200 – Identify yourself as an attendee of BCH meeting.

The room block expires 3/31/2017.
Important dates:

March 17 – Deadline Resolution Submissions, email to efearn@bcha.org.

April 7 – Deadline for hotel reservations and meeting registration.

We will have a consent agenda, please review the agenda and appropriate files prior to the meeting.

Potential for a Sawyer Class April 18-19
Please reply as soon as possible!

BCHA volunteers often use chain and crosscut saws to maintain the trail. To operate a chain or crosscut saw, volunteers must first be certified. BCHA will help volunteers obtain these requirements by conducting crosscut and/or chain saw certification and re-certification trainings for volunteers.

If there is enough confirmed attendees then we will be holding a class on April 18 and 19, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana. If you are seriously interested please email markahimmel@gmail.com as soon as possible to register. April 18 will be classroom, April 19 will be hands-on training. Cost for the course is complimentary.

Please Note: To be sawyer certified you must have an up to date CPR certification. If you are not currently certified there are many online courses you can take in order to get certified in time. Simply search online for “online CPR certification”.

BCHA National Dues Notice

Just a friendly reminder that dues for BCHA National are due for the 2017 year in January. This Email has been sent to all National Directors and State Contacts we have in our database. If you are not the right person to submit dues, please be sure to forward this to the appropriate person. Thank You!

Below are a few things to remember about your dues:

• Your membership dues for 2017 are calculated based on your state membership list as of 12/31/2016.
• Your National Directors will not be able to vote at the National Board Meeting unless dues are paid.
• Dues are delinquent on February 28, 2017.
Please click here for your BCHA 2017 dues form
Please send a check and a completed dues form to: 342 North Main Street, Suite 301, West Hartford, CT 06117

If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by visiting:

Back Country Horsemen of America
342 N Main Street
Suite 301
West Hartford, Connecticut 06117

18. January 2017 · Comments Off on Thank you and BCHI education update · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

12. January 2017 · Comments Off on Interactive: The 29 national monuments that Obama created or expanded while in office · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

National Monuments designated by Barack Obama

Click for Interactive Map

Fort Monroe National Monument
Fort Ord National Monument
Chimney Rock National Monument
César Chávez National Monument
San Juan Islands National Monument
Río Grande del Norte National Monument
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
First State National Historical Park
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands
Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument
San Gabriel Mountains
Honouliuli National Monument
Pullman National Monument
Browns Canyon National Monument
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Basin and Range National Monument
Mojave Trails National Monument
Sand to Snow National Monument
Castle Mountains National Monument
Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
Stonewall National Monument
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument
Bears Ears
Gold Butte

12. January 2017 · Comments Off on IDPR Non-Motorized 1/11 Meeting Materials · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

January 11, 2017

IDPR Non-Motorized Meeting Materials

Good Morning,

If you were unable to attend the IDPR Non-Motorized meeting last night, here is a link for you to download all of the meeting materials that were handed out. Please let me know if you have any questions.

January Meeting Handout – summit summary next steps

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on Alert January 2017 – House Vote on Public Lands · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The U.S. House of Representatives just made it easier for the government to sell or give away national parks, national forests, and other public lands.

A new rule, written by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), establishes as fact that any legislation to dispose of public lands and natural resources would cost taxpayers exactly $0. This paves the way for the new Congress to get rid of vast swaths of public lands — all at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Under Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, the House is required to account for the cost of any legislation it considers. Now, the House does not need to even estimate any financial losses from giving away public land. Bills to dispose of public land will skip several steps in the normal legislative process, coming up for a vote without any discussion of the costs and benefits. The House approved the rules change by a vote of 234 to 193 on Tuesday.

Since the move applies only to House rules, it is not subject to approval by the Senate or a presidential signature. It is effective immediately.

“The House Republican plan to give away America’s public lands for free is outrageous and absurd,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said in a statement just prior to the vote. “This proposed rule change would make it easier to implement this plan by allowing the Congress to give away every single piece of property we own, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but it is also a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people.”

The procedural shortcut appears to apply equally to all types of public land. For example, national parks from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, as well as federal buildings such as the Pentagon, could all be given away without consideration of the cost to American taxpayers.

The idea to dispose of public lands reflects the alliance between anti-government extremists, led by Cliven Bundy, and members of the anti-parks caucus, who don’t acknowledge the federal government’s authority over national public lands. Instead, these groups want to see public lands given to the states. In reality, states would likely be unable to shoulder the burden of managing these lands — from fighting wildfire to cleaning up abandoned mines — and would ultimately sell them to private interests.

The House rules change was met with sharp criticism from conservation and watchdog groups.
“Less than one day in and Congressional Republicans are already greasing the skids to give away or sell off America’s public lands, forests, and wildlife refuges,” Jen Rokala, executive director for the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement. “What’s worse, politicians are using smoke and mirrors to hide the cost of stealing away our public lands, while ripping off American taxpayers in the process.”

More than 90 percent of voters in Nevada, Colorado, and Montana believe public lands are an essential part of their state’s economy, according to polling by Rokala’s group. In addition, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that oil and gas drilling on public lands is one of the federal government’s largest sources of non-tax revenue.

Moreover, the Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreation, which largely takes place on public lands, is responsible for a $646-billion industry that supports 6.1 million direct jobs.

As recently as four weeks ago, Congress acknowledged the importance of the outdoor recreation economy. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (the Outdoor REC Act), which directs the Department of Commerce to measure the value of outdoor recreation economy.

But Tuesday’s vote asserts that public lands have absolutely no value to the American public — discounting the very economic driver the Outdoor REC Act aims to measure.

Both President-elect Trump and his Interior Secretary nominee, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) have been vocal opponents of selling off America’s public lands. Zinke resigned from the GOP platform-writing committee last summer after it included language supporting the disposal of public lands. However, Zinke voted in favor of the rules change that would streamline public land disposal.

It remains unclear where he will stand on this issue if confirmed as Interior Secretary. A date for Zinke’s confirmation hearing has not been set.

House Republicans including Montana U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke voted Tuesday night to overturn a rule requiring Congress to calculate the value of federal land before transferring it to states or other entities, removing a significant barrier to limit lawmakers from ceding federal control of public lands.

The provision, part of a larger rules package that passed by a vote of 233 to 190, dictates that transfers of federal land should be treated as having no cost to the federal government, therefore requiring no budgetary offset, even if the parcels generate revenue for the U.S. Treasury through logging or energy extraction.

Currently, the Congressional Budget Office provides “scorekeeping” estimates to measure the costs of proposed public land transfers by evaluating the economic impacts of existing uses.

The new rule, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, overturns that requirement, stating that “authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.”

While the idea of transferring federal public land to the states has figured prominently into the GOP platform because it returns management authority to surrounding communities, opponents caution that states without the resources to manage broad swaths of federal land would be forced to sell it off to developers.

“This proposal is outrageous and absurd,” according to an internal memo circulated to Democratic House members by the Natural Resources Committee and obtained by the Beacon. “This is fiscally irresponsible, not to mention a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people. This proposal would allow the federal government to give away every single piece of property it owns, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value.”

There are more than 27 million acres of federal land in Montana, encompassing about 29 percent of the state. The Forest Service oversees 17 million acres, mostly in Western Montana.

Zinke, Montana’s lone congressman, was recently tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as the nation’s next Interior Secretary and has opposed transferring management of federal lands to states’ control, even quitting his post as a member of the GOP platform-writing committee after the group included language that would have made transferring federal land ownership to the states a priority.

He characterizes himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican and made his commitment to preserving America’s public lands a centerpiece in his recent campaign for re-election.

“I was extremely surprised by Ryan Zinke’s vote in support of this rule change,” Brad Brooks of The Wilderness Society said. “This rule greases the skids by removing the biggest obstacle preventing the transfer of public lands. Talk is cheap and votes matter, and this vote really mattered.”

Trump has also stated he opposes the transfer of public lands, telling Field and Stream magazine last year, saying “I don’t like the idea.”

“You don’t know what the state is going to do,” Trump told Field and Stream. “I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Zinke’s vote in favor of the new rule prompted immediate backlash from the local conservation and outdoor recreation communities, whose advocates called it an about-face.

“This is an absolute affront to Montana’s way of life and to the millions of Americans who hike, hunt, fish, and camp on public lands,” said Brian Sybert, executive director of Montana Wilderness Association. “It’s especially troubling that Rep. Zinke, a self-proclaimed Roosevelt conservationist and possibly our next Interior secretary, voted for this measure, because this is a major attack on Roosevelt’s legacy.”

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers decried the measure and strongly criticized House members who voted in support of it.

“As the 115th Congress enters its first week, some of our elected officials are wasting no time in paving the way to steal our outdoor heritage,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Buried in a litany of other measures is language inserted by Congressman Bishop that would make it easier to give away America’s public lands. For sportsmen, this provision sticks out like a sore thumb. If it’s a fight they want, they’ve got one coming – and I’m betting on public lands hunters and anglers.”

When pressed for comment about his vote to ease the transfer of public lands, Zinke’s communications director Heather Swift stated in an email, “Ryan Zinke’s position has not changed.”

The primary impact of the rules change is that it inhibits lawmakers from raising a budgetary point of order if a land transfer bill lands on the floor. Under current House rules, any measure that costs the U.S. Treasury money must be offset by budget cuts or another provision to replace lost revenue.

Marne Hayes, executive director of Business for Montana’s Outdoors, joined in criticizing the House vote.

“The U.S. House just voted to make it easier to give away one of Montana’s prized business assets. We are sounding the alarm that this legislation will directly impact Montana businesses because it threatens our public lands,” Hayes said. “While Montana Representative Ryan Zinke voted for the package, we hope that in his new role as Interior Secretary, he will stand firm against future threats to Montana jobs and our outdoor way of life.”

Following the House vote, both U.S. senators from Montana stated their continued opposition to transferring federal lands to the states.

“I continue to strongly oppose the transfer of federal lands to the states while fighting to improve the management of those lands,” Republican Sen. Steve Daines stated.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester issued the following statement:

“This vote by the House is an underhanded assault on Montana’s outdoor economy, our hunting heritage, and our way of life. Public lands belong to all Americans and Congress should be safeguarding them, not clearing the way to auction them off to the highest bidder. I ask all those who care about our public lands to join me in demanding more public access, not more attacks on our public lands, from their representatives in the House.”

State Democrats likewise joined in the chorus chastising Zinke’s vote.

“Montana’s hunters and anglers won’t soon forget this vote and we will continue to hold Congressman Zinke accountable as he asks for the nation’s trust in serving as Secretary of the Interior,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.

06. January 2017 · Comments Off on REC-Link “A community of practice for Recreation Professionals · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Link to Web Site

FSM 2300 – Read it!
Posted by Francisco Valenzuela

The new Forest Service recreation Directive 2300, the Zero code was released late last year without much celebration.

But it’s a very important document in that it provides the foundation direction for Recreation, Wilderness, Heritage, and trail management along with other program areas. You should read it, share it with others and discuss what it means to your program management with your recreation team.

Our sustainable recreation symbol and the 4-“Ps” comes from this document though it does not jump out at you. That is our goals are to Provide and Protect, and our focus is to so with Partners and to Perform a high level, carrying our mission efficiently and effectively with a focus on results.

There are some major changes from the past including the idea of sustainability. This is direction and it should be carried out day by day and incorporated in your planning.

Sustainable horse back riding

Posted by Deirdre Lightsey

Hi, thought I’d share a few of the ways that myself & my fellow conservation minded equestrian help to be part of the solution! Top down, we engage with the land managers (mainly Nat Forest & Parks but also state Forests & Parks). I am serving on the Nantahala Pisgah Forest Partners, which is a group of stakeholders collaborating to recommend ways to improve the new Forest Plan, N/P being an “early adapter” we’re under the 2012 mandate of citizen involvement, which has been very interesting. I’m co representative of the Recreation group with the IMBA & Amer Whitewater reps. We’ve also been taped to serve on the National Forest Foundation Forum that is working solely on the Plan revision. I feel that by acting in this arena, I can bring understanding of the equestrians to the other stake holders and help to interpret the management of the Forest back to my fellow horse folks.

I’m an officer in the Back Country Horsemen of NC, a chapter of BCH of America. The resources & knowledge sharing from the National org are invaluable to members who are concerned about riding light on the land. We are aware of trail conditions, and when we will make a larger impact like during freeze/thaw conditions or after a rain, and minimize our trail access at those times.

As an active Forest Volunteer, I am a certified “Leave no Trace” trainer for equestrian practices as well as a certified sustainable trail builder. This is helpful to keep working in the sustainable way when we make improvements to the trail, and also to help work alongside the Forest Service Rangers & other volunteers like hikers & bikers. We find that we can make less impact with a horse packing supplies & tools into work sites than mechanized vehicles. I have written grants to engineer & fund sustainable high lines, horse containment methods to give horse campers a much kinder gentler on the land way to overnight their horses.

All rides that I participate in are mapped and I carry loppers & a hand saw. A person on a horse can clear the canopy much easier than on foot and get further out to recon damage to trails. Mapping helps us pinpoint troubled areas (larger downed trees, eroded trail, areas that are causing siltation etc) and help us discuss the best course of action with the land manager.

19. December 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Recreational Trails Annual Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Since 1991, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has provided more than $1 billion in Federal funding for trails across the country. RTP grants have been an essential ingredient in creating and improving over 21,350 trail-related projects nationwide, including urban greenways, nature centers, and horse, hiking, mountain bike, and motorized trails, as well as snow and water routes.

RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails, encourages productive cooperation among trail users, and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and economic activity in countless communities. See the RTP database for details of these projects.

American Trails joins with other members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails in celebrating RTP. This federation of national and regional trail-related member organizations work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program.

2016 – Report – Overview – Recreational Trails – Environment – FHWA

Publication No. FHWA-HEP-17-001

Download the PDF Version of 2016 RTP Annual Report (PDF 24 MB)

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

14. December 2016 · Comments Off on Fall 2016 – The Wildest Place · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

SBFC Newsletter-Fall 2016

The Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation Fall newsletter is attached.
Sue Webster
Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation
Communication & Membership Coordinator
RMRS – 322 E. Front St. Ste. 401
Boise, ID 83702

Connecting individuals and communities to Wilderness

11. December 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 – End of Season Party · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


It was a dark and foggy night on December 10, 2016 when brave members and guest ventured out onto the road for the drive to Rebecca Ignacio’s party barn located in farm country north west of Emmett. Rebecca has taken a barn and turned it into a very attractive venue for groups activities. Read all about it and see Picture !  End of Season Party


08. December 2016 · Comments Off on Risch introduces community-backed wilderness bill for Scotchman Peaks in North Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


U.S. Sen. Jim Risch introduced a bill Thursday to protect 13,900 acres in north Idaho as wilderness.

The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act of 2016 would protect a rugged range of mountains on the Montana border, near the city of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille. Its low-elevation boreal and old-growth forests support a unique diversity of plants and Canada lynx, wolverine, mountain goats, moose and grizzly bears.

“If passed, this legislation would allow future generations of Idahoans to enjoy Scotchman Peaks, while at the same time protecting the needs and rights of local communities and tribes,” said Risch, an Idaho Republican. “This bill was introduced today to start the public process, and will not move forward until I hear from Idahoans directly about this topic. I look forward to holding a public hearing in the next Congress to receive input.”

The bill, introduced at the request of the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, has wide support including one of Idaho’s largest forest products companies and the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Support for Scotchman Peaks wilderness dates to the late 1970s. But in 2005, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks formed specifically to organize community support for wilderness designation for the area.

“Sen. Risch’s support of the homegrown Scotchman Peaks wilderness campaign reflects the far-reaching community support for permanent protection of one of Idaho’s often overlooked wild gems,” said Craig Gehrke, Idaho state director for The Wilderness Society.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

08. December 2016 · Comments Off on The 50-Year Story Of Creating Idaho’s New Wilderness Area · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

The 50-Year Story Of Creating Idaho’s New Wilderness Area
IdahoPTV/EarthFix | Dec. 7, 2016 3 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 7, 2016 4:24 p.m.

Castle Peak is so hidden from view that you can’t see it from any highway.

But it just might be the most important mountain in Idaho. Castle Peak and the surrounding Boulder-White Cloud Mountains have stirred up fights over mining, recreation and conservation — fights that have changed the course of political careers, including that of a self-described “Democratic lumberjack from North Idaho” named Cecil Andrus who became governor after taking a stand over the future of this rugged, mineral-rich wilderness.

And now, a generation later and the efforts of Idaho’s Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson and others, it is part of the Northwest’s newest wilderness area.

The team at Outdoor Idaho has the story of the 50-years-in-the-making wilderness designation for a wonderland of peaks, lakes, headwaters and steep, remote forests.

Idaho Public Television calls it “some of the most dazzlingly diverse country in the West, deserving of the gold standard of protection.”

In its hour-long Special, the Outdoor Idaho crew visits the three new wilderness areas in the center of Idaho – the White Clouds, the Hemingway-Boulders, and the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness – to tell the fascinating story of how the threat of an open-pit mine eventually led to a unanimous vote for Wilderness in Congress. This program also examines some of the major battles yet to be decided.

The entire hour-long “Beyond the White Clouds” program will be available to view here until Dec. 19.

04. December 2016 · Comments Off on Ride for Joy 2016 Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click on picture to see full report

This flyer is from our very own Marybeth Conger regarding Ride for Joy. If anyone is interested in donating to the organization the address is Ride for Joy, PO Box 140295, Boise, ID 83714 marybethconger@rideforjoy.org

01. December 2016 · Comments Off on Alert – 12-01-2016 Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). In Idaho · Categories: Current Events

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industries has reported a positive case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). On November 28, 2016, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed a positive case of EIA in a horse located in Canyon County, Idaho. The premises and all horses within 200 yards surrounding the premises are currently under quarantine until further testing of exposed horses is complete. The affected horse was part of a group that underwent testing in preparation for interstate travel. Exposed horses will remain under quarantine until follow-up testing is completed at 60 days post exposure. An epidemiological investigation is underway to determine the source of the infection and identify additional horses that may have been exposed to the disease. This is the first EIA positive horse diagnosed in Idaho since 2005.

EIA is an infectious and potentially fatal viral disease of horses most commonly transmitted by biting insects. If not properly disinfected prior to use, needles and equipment contaminated with blood from an infected horse can also spread the virus to unexposed horses. At this time, there is no vaccine available to prevent infection or any medical treatment that is effective against the virus. Horses that do acquire the disease are infected throughout their life and will remain a source of infection to other horses in close proximity.

The symptoms of a horse infected with EIA are often subtle and may go unnoticed. EIA-positive horses may develop a low-grade fever or become lethargic as well as demonstrate weight loss, icterus (yellowing of body tissues), anemia, swelling in the limbs, and weakness. However, not all equids infected with the EIA virus show signs of illness, and these animals serve as inapparent carriers. Horses demonstrating clinical signs of EIA pose the greatest risk of spreading the virus due to the increased concentrations of virus circulating in the blood. Even inapparent carriers, though, may be a source of infection and pose a risk to other horses. Because of this risk, Idaho state law requires EIA-positive horses be euthanized or maintained under strict quarantine, isolated from all other horses, for the life of the animal. Most states require a test for EIA be conducted within the last 12 months of horses moving interstate. Horse owners are encouraged to incorporate an annual test for EIA (Coggins test) into their routine animal health regimen regardless of whether they travel interstate.

Thank You
Debbie Amsden
Executive Director

01. December 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 – Hours & Miles Summary (Squaw Butte Chapter) · Categories: Current Events, Work Parties and Projects


28. November 2016 · Comments Off on Draft plan released for 2 central Idaho wilderness areas · Categories: Current Events, Public Meetings

bolder-white-cloud-draft-mgt-plan     \    Proposed Restrictions for Recreational Stock Use In The Boulder White Clouds Wilderness

Notice of Initiating the Assessment Phase of the Forest Plan Revision for the Salmon-Challis National Forest
whitecloudBy KEITH RIDLER – Associated Press – Monday, November 28, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A draft plan unveiled Monday for two recently created Idaho wilderness areas prohibits campfires at high elevations to protect whitebark pine and eliminates horses and other recreational stock in some areas to protect alpine soils.

The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the availability of the 67-page document intended to guide management of the 138-square-mile Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and the 142-square-mile White Clouds Wilderness, both in central Idaho.

The agencies say the goal is to manage the areas for recreation and other activities while preserving wilderness character.

The ban on campfires above 9,000 feet with some exceptions is intended to protect whitebark pine as well as snags and downed trees at high altitudes where firewood is scarce and living trees become targets.
“We cannot lose whitebark pine,” said Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas. “There are not that many of them (that) we can start using them for firewood.”

The ban on horses and other recreational stock applies only to a portion of the White Clouds Wilderness, in part to protect riparian areas.

Dani Mazzotta of the Idaho Conservation League said 60 volunteers over the summer documented high-use areas, trash removal and wildlife sightings. She said the information was turned over to the federal agencies but it’s not clear if it was included in the draft plan.

“We’ll be diving into the wilderness plan in the next couple weeks,” she said President Barack Obama signed the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act in August 2015 after Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho got ranchers, recreationists and environmental groups to back the plan.

Simpson had been working on wilderness designation for 15 years, but some groups upset with the delay pushed Obama to designate a much larger area a national monument. That possibility is widely believed to have led to the wilderness bill passing despite opposition, particularly in rural Custer County where some of the wilderness area is located.

“A lot of people are upset with the fact that I didn’t call their bluff and see if they turned it into a monument,” said Custer County Commission Chairman Wayne Butts, noting he and the two other commissioners didn’t want to take that chance and signed on with Simpson’s bill.

He said that among the problems with the draft plan are negative comments about grazing cattle, a use specifically allowed as part of the compromise deal reached to create the wilderness areas.

The law also allows for the retirement of grazing allotments, and Thomas said one allotment has already been retired that overlapped a part of the White Clouds Wilderness.

The central Idaho wilderness areas created with Obama’s signature in 2015 also include the 183-square-mile Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness. Federal officials say the management plan for that area, which involves a different national forest and more BLM land, is being completed in a separate planning effort.

Public meetings to discuss the plan for Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and White Clouds Wilderness are set for Dec. 5 in Challis, and Dec. 6 in Stanley and Ketchum.

Public comments are being taken through Jan. 5, with a final plan expected to be released in the spring.

Draft plan released for 2 central Idaho wilderness areas

Management plan for the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness (116,898 acres)

Sawtooth National Forest
2647 Kimberly Road East
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301

Bureau of Land Management
Challis Field Office
1151 Blue Mountain Road
Challis, Idaho 83226

PHONE: 208-737-3262
DATE: November 28, 2016

Sawtooth National Recreation Area and BLM Challis Field Office Seek Comments regarding the Hemingway-Boulders and White Clouds Wilderness Management Plan Ketchum, ID – The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are announcing the availability of the proposed wilderness management plan for the Hemingway-Boulders and White Clouds Wilderness areas. A wilderness management plan guides the preservation, management, and use of wilderness to ensure it is unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness. The draft wilderness management plan provides direction for managing the resources and uses within wilderness: recreation, search and rescue, research, wildlife, vegetation, while preserving wilderness character.

To access the draft plan, or for more information on the planning process, the wilderness areas, and interactive maps,

Please visit the interagency project website at: http://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=5693f6ff6783482da33cb7c2bf9f12d2

You may also request hard copies or CDs containing the document by contacting the Sawtooth National Forest Office at 208-737-3200.

The BLM and USFS will also offer three public open-house meetings during the scoping period:
Challis, Idaho: December 5th, 5-7 p.m. at the Forest Service Office, 311 N. US Hwy 93.
Stanley, Idaho: December 6th, Noon-2 p.m. at the Stanley Community Center, Hwy 21.
Ketchum, Idaho: December 6th, 5-7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 220 Cottonwood Street.

Comments concerning this action will be most useful if received by January 5, 2016 through one of the following methods:
Send an email to: comments-intermtn-sawtooth-nra@usda.gov

Send a hardcopy letter to Sawtooth National Forest, 2647 Kimberly Road East, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301

Proposed Restrictions
The draft wilderness management plan proposes restrictions on two uses in certain portions of the wilderness areas: recreational stock and campfires. Click on headings for location details.

Recreational Stock
Limitations on are proposed on recreational stock use above Lodgepole and Quiet lakes, within Gunsight Creek, and within the Big Boulder drainage, excluding Walker and Island lakes. These limitations are proposed to protect fragile alpine soils and vegetation, including sensitive whitebark pine trees, riparian processes and aquatic biota.


24. November 2016 · Comments Off on Bernie Lionberger · Categories: Current Events

Dear BCHI Members,

It is with sadness that inform you that Bernie Lionberger 74 passed away November 18, with family around him. Bernie, born Nov. 28, 1941, had a passion for aviation, horses and the Dallas Cowboys.

A memorial service will be held at Yates Funeral Home, 744 N 4th St, Coeur D Alene on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 2:00. Cards can be sent to Sherri Lionberger at 8429 Evergreen Dr, Helena, MT 59602

I have sent a card in BCHI’s name.

Debbie Samovar
BCHI Secretary

Bernie & Sherri at BCHI convention 2007

The flyboys Summer of 88

23. November 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 End of Season Party (Pot Luck Dinner) · Categories: Current Events, Fun Days

party2016christmas-party-flyer      Directions

This is a POT LUCK Dinner to celebrate 2016 and start thinking about 2017

10. November 2016 · Comments Off on BCHI Calendars VS Dues Increase · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events

Back Country Horsemen of Idaho Member

At the September BCHI Directors Meeting some chapters expressed an interest in increasing BCHI dues to cover expenses rather than selling raffle calendars.

At my request, Kay Ryan and Rod Parks went through the finances. Attached is a letter of their findings.

Maybe one of the chapters that is against the calendar sales will have a proposal for the 2017 Convention. If we do not do a calendar after 2018, we will need to pass the dues increase in 2017, payable in 2019 or we will have to spend about $12,000 out of reserves until a dues increase is approved or another form of funding is put in force.

This letter will be in the February issue of Broomtales and on the Agenda of the March Convention.

Please look this over and discuss with you chapter.

Thank you,
Bob Savage


02. November 2016 · Comments Off on Mountain Bikes and the Wilderness · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Mountain bikers don’t need to ride in wilderness areas


Like many mountain bikers, I used to share the opinion that bikes should be allowed on any trails on public land, including wilderness areas. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to ride my bike anywhere that I want? I was a Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association board member for three years, and ride regularly around the West. My sense of entitlement to public land use came naturally.

However, that sentiment is rooted in an ignorance of why the Wilderness Act was passed, coupled with a lack of knowledge about how much access mountain bikers already have. Legislation sponsored by Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch (S. 3205) panders to this lack of awareness — and the entitlement that it breeds.

Gutting one of our nation’s bedrock conservation laws, the bill will open designated wilderness areas to mountain biking, a move that should be soundly opposed. Public lands are treasured by everyone, not just mountain bikers, and are designated for many reasons, not just recreation.

Read more here:

Idaho’s new wilderness helps drive mountain bike bill

The Associated Press

More than 100 million acres of America’s most rugged landscapes designated as wilderness are off-limits to mountain bikers, but two Utah senators have introduced legislation that would allow bikers to join hikers and horseback riders in those scenic, undisturbed areas.

The proposal is controversial within the biking community and opposed by conservationists who say bikes would erode trails and upset the five-decade notion of wilderness as primitive spaces.

Read more here:

Should America’s wilderness be open to mountain bikes?


For most environmentalists, nothing is more sacred than America’s wilderness: 109 million acres of land in 44 states protected by Congress and “untrammeled by man,” where only hikers and horseback riders are allowed.

But many of the nation’s mountain bikers want in, too.

“Let’s talk about the science here for a second: A mountain bike tire is essentially as much damage as a bunch of hikers going up a trail with all their hiking poles, and it’s less damage than equestrian use,” said Eric Brown, trail director for the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition in Bellingham, Wash.

Read more here:


27. October 2016 · Comments Off on Summary of Projects & Activities Squaw Butte 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click here to read the 2016 Season Report 2016-summary-of-projects-activities

25. October 2016 · Comments Off on American Trails Report 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Click on the pictures to read


Trail Marking Systems   Rhino Signs        Voss Signs

18. October 2016 · Comments Off on Bryan Play Day – October 2016 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events



Wow – that was fun, wasn’t it? Thank you ALL for making it another fantastic year. A special thanks to my kids – Athena, Blake Sappe and Olivia Sappé for helping put it all together and keeping it running smooth. Blake Sappe – you may have missed your calling. You might consider turning in your rope for face paint. The kids’ loved you and so do I Peaches.
See full pictures on Picasa

16. October 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Public Outreach & Yard Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Tractor supply loaned us these pop-up tents to help shelter our table from the light rain that fell at time during the sale.  They did a great job and didn’t blow away with sand bags attached to each leg.


Don’t be surprised if this hat finds it’s way into a gift box at the end of season party gift exchange!


Some happy ladies, the sale was a success, we are all packed up, and it is time to head for home before the next front hits!

Read about this event

07. October 2016 · Comments Off on BCHI – State board meeting September 2016 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Current Events


MB Conger
Squaw Butte State Board Member & BCHI Education chair



30. September 2016 · Comments Off on High Valley DN/FONSI is signed · Categories: Current Events


From: Newton, Richard E -FS   renewton@fs.fed.us
Date: Fri, Sep 23, 2016
Subject: High Valley DN/FONSI is signed

Morning All,

I’m excited to announce that Cecilia signed the High Valley Decision yesterday.

I wanted to thank everyone for all the hard work, perseverance, and persistence. It was an involved process but in the end I believe it allows us to manage in a pro-active fashion and conduct treatments necessary to move the forest into a healthier state.

Please pass this info on to whoever you feel will be interested. I did not have a current list for the BFC and know I missed several key participants.

Thanks again and I look forward to working with you on the next landscape scale project (Sage Hen) on the Emmett District.

Have a great weekend!


Read Document

21. September 2016 · Comments Off on Boise Forest Coalition – Open Letter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


To: Friends of the Boise National Forest
From: Boise Forest Coalition
Date: September 20, 2016
RE: Pioneer Fire Field Trip and Invitation to Boise Forest Coalition

Dear Friends,
We are writing on behalf of the Boise Forest Coalition (BFC). The purpose of this letter is to invite your attendance at an upcoming field trip to visit the Pioneer Fire and to encourage participation in the Boise Forest Coalition and our work. The Pioneer Fire burned across over 180,000 acres within the Boise National Forest this summer. The field trip is intended to provide a first-hand look at the impacts from the fire (both positive and negative) and to provide useful perspective as the Forest Service and BFC consider potential restoration and management actions identified through both the Burned Area Emergency Rehab (rapid response) and NEPA (project development) process. As a representative of an important constituency, we invite you to consider participating in the field trip, and learning more about opportunities to participate and support the efforts of the Boise National Forest and the BFC as we move forward to restore and protect our forests.

What: Field Trip to Pioneer Fire area

When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 9 a.m.

Where: Idaho City Ranger District (Highway 21, milepost 38.5, Idaho City)

Note: Bring a pack lunch, sturdy shoes, water and be prepared for a day in the field. Bus transportation will be provided from Idaho City.
RSVP Required: Brant Petersen, District Ranger, (Bpetersen02@fs.fed.us)

About the Coalition

The Boise Forest Coalition was formed in September 2010, bringing together diverse interests to craft recommendations for multi-faceted forest projects in the Boise National Forest. The citizen-led group is open to anyone with an interest in Boise National Forest management. We generally meet on the first Thursday of the month at a location that is relevant to our project work. Additional info, including protocols, meeting notes, etc. are available at boiseforestcoalition.org.

On Behalf of the Boise Forest Coalition,
Rachel Vandenburg, Steering Committee Member
Jonathan Oppenheimer, Steering Committee Member
Art Beal, Steering Committee Member

16. September 2016 · Comments Off on Take Action! Support the Land & Water Conservation Fund · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Dear BCHA Members:

As the 114th Congress looks toward its final months of work, we urge you to support the bipartisan agreement to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water
Conservation Fund that passed the Senate in April as part of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.

BCHA is a member of the LWCF Coalition that supports this bipartisan compromise. We want our members to be part of a major push to demonstrate our support.

Please sign your BCH state or chapter onto the LWCF Coalition letter that soon will be sent to Congress. The letter can be accessed here.

LWCF is one of our country’s most important conservation programs, supporting local communities and increasing access to the outdoors in every state and 99% of all counties. The program is overwhelmingly popular and has maintained broad bipartisan support over its 50-year history of successful, locally-driven conservation. Yet, in 2015, it was allowed to temporarily expire and then given only a short term renewal.

Since permanent authorization of the LWCF passed the Senate, but not the House, it is going to be on a shorter list of issues that must be addressed before the end of this Congress. It is part of the Energy Bill Conference Committee that is convening right now.

Why is this Important to Horsemen?

BCHA prepared a fact sheet on the importance of Congress reauthorizing the LWCF. To view a map or a listing of LWCF funded projects in your state, go to the LWCF Coalition website. As you will see, LWCF has benefited our national parks, national forests, state and local parks and other natural areas for over half a century.

The Energy Bill Conference Committee has included two other provisions that are important to BCHA members. The first creates a new National Park Maintenance and Revitalization Fund that is over and above LWCF—NOT taking authorized dollars away from LWCF—from offshore energy revenues. The fund would dedicate $150 million per year toward addressing the maintenance backlog in national parks, including trails.

Secondly, the bill would dedicate at least $10 million each year of LWCF funds that “shall be used for projects that secure recreational public access to Federal public land for hunting, fishing, or other recreational purposes.’’ This could include national forests and other public lands. So again, the public and horsemen could be the beneficiaries of directing this small portion (no more than 1.5%) of LWCF monies toward enhanced public access.

Take Action

Again, please consider signing on to the Coalition letter by adding your BCH state/chapter to the list of LWCF supporters as soon as possible. It’s urgent. Congress is in session only for a few more weeks.

We would also appreciate you forwarding this invitation for sign-on to BCH chapters/units in your state. We need the fantastic geographic diversity among BCHA’s membership to sound off on the importance of LWCF in creating and expanding recreational opportunities in every state.

Thank you for taking action!

We are hopeful that Congress will act to permanently authorize this landmark legislation that recognizes the universal importance of LWCF, dedicates an annual funding stream to address the national park maintenance backlog, and dedicate a modest amount of LWCF funds to improve public access to public lands.

Donald Saner,
BCHA Chairman

07. September 2016 · Comments Off on This Land Is Our Land’: Defense Strategy · Categories: Current Events

OPR-1 Link to Pod Cast

06. September 2016 · Comments Off on BCHA – Current Issues · Categories: Current Events


BCHA-BCHW public scoping comments regarding the park’s Wilderness Stewardship Plan

Help BCHA secure more horseback riding opportunities at Mount Rainer National Park

BCHA Provides the Rationale for Why Congress Must Pass the “Forest Trail Stewardship” Bill

BCHA-BCHC sends public scoping comments regarding the park’s Wilderness Stewardship Plan

and many more GO TO WEB PAGE

A new poll by Colorado College shows broad support for federal public land ownership. Up to 60 percent of Western voters oppose proposals to sell federal land to private sources or transfer ownership to the states.

Against an uptick in anti-public lands rhetoric from militant extremists, a new Colorado College State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll released January 11, 2016 revealed strong public support for efforts to protect and maintain national public lands.

These results make clear Western communities care deeply about the public lands that embody the best of our nation’s culture, spirit and beauty,” said former U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. “Western voters see our outdoor heritage as integral to our economy and our way of life, and they certainly don’t want to see their public lands seized by ideologues or sold off by politicians in Washington.

02. September 2016 · Comments Off on Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Visit Web Site

02. September 2016 · Comments Off on Idaho Horse Council Fall Meeting · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Agenda and IHC Notes by MB August 20 2016IHC Meeting

23. August 2016 · Comments Off on Wilson Corral TR135 & Gabe’s Peak TR136 · Categories: Current Events, Horse Camping, Work Parties and Projects

Project dates: August 20/21, 2016
National forest: Boise
Ranger District: Emmett
Trail Head Road: FR 653
Trail Miles worked: Completed TR135 / Complete Trail TR 136 (cleared to upper meadow on each trail)

TR135 Down Fall Encountered: 45
TR135 Down Fall Cleared: 45
TR135 Trail Brushed: where needed

TR136 Down Fall Encountered: 15
TR136 Down Fall Cleared: 15
TR136 Trail Brushed: Where needed

Wilson corral pictures

We encountered a lot of large downfall, much of it up-rooting’s of otherwise healthy trees on the Wilson Corral trail. A number of work arounds are no longer necessary as we reestablished the original trail bed. West mountain is the driest I have ever seen it in the 16 years I have been riding there. Creeks are dry and the grass in the upper meadow is brown.

On Gabe’s Peak trail many of the downfall were from previous years, and had work arounds, we reestablished the original trail bed, unless erosion made the work around a better option. A re-routing of this trail up to the ridge should be considered, with a number of switch backs replacing the 10 to 20 degree climb almost straight up. With the mostly dirt trail bed a lot of erosion is a problem as well as an almost un-hike-able trail.

Squaw Butte Members on the Project
Rob Adams
Lisa & Tom Griffith

Pictures taken on this project

23. August 2016 · Comments Off on Squaw Creek TR131 North & Poison Creek Tr134 · Categories: Current Events, Horse Camping, Work Parties and Projects

Blue trail Saturday / Red on Sunday

Project dates: August 6/7, 2016
National forest: Boise
Ranger District: Emmett
Trail Head Road: FR 625
Trail Miles worked: 5 TR131 / Complete Trail TR 134

TR131 Down Fall Encountered: 45 (about 2/3 of the trail was worked)
TR131 Down Fall Cleared: 45
TR131 Trail Brushed: First Mile (This trail need a lot of brush removed, it would make a great Boy Scout project)

TR134 Down Fall Encountered: 1
TR134 Down Fall Cleared: 1
TR134 This trail need to be remarked. Game and cattle trails make it very difficult to follow in many places, from the trail head to bridge needs brushing.

Sign at junction for TR131 & TR 134 is missing, just two nails in the tree it was attached to. Unless you know where to turn, you will miss the TR134 turn off.

We re-routed a section of the 131 trail that ran along squaw creek, a very large tree up-rooted right next to the creek and fell a crossed it. The large tree well is now part of the creek bed and with the next high water will completely wash out. See included pictures. We move the trail about 30 foot up the hill side which was protected by a rock and trees. There is a short 25 degree climb from old to new trail, the horses had no problem doing it.

We saw two back packers on TR131, a first, we ran into a number of cows and saw a lot of bear sign, but no wildlife. Huckleberry were very tasty.

We plan to go back to Squaw Creek the weekend of September 10 to complete the upper third of the trail.

Squaw Butte Members on the Project
Rob Adams
Leah Osborn
Travis (last name unknown)
Lisa & Tom Griffith
Shelly Duff
Kelley Ragland
Nancy Smith
Shannon Schantz

Pictures from this Project

12. August 2016 · Comments Off on National Saw Policy Webinar August 23, 11:30 Central Time · Categories: Current Events
National Trails Day

National Trails Day


National Saw Policy Webinar August 23, 11:30 Central Time

Learn about the new National Saw Policy!

Ask questions!

Hear why, how and who created the new policy!

Employees and cooperators are invited to attend a national webinar on the issuance of new national policy for the Forest Service Saw Program. A short slideshow will be presented to explain how the four year effort to create an overarching programmatic national policy (a new chapter in Forest Service Manual 2358), a revision to the Forest Service Handbook and a Forest Service Saw Operators Guide will help create a safer and more consistent saw program and better sawyers. Also learn about the National Sawyer Database and a new National Saw Program Manager position in the Washington Office.

Please join me, Robert Wetherell (USFS Saw Policy Specialist) along with Beth Boyst (Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager), Pete Duncan (Risk Management Officer-R5), Joni Packard (R1 Youth, Volunteer and 21CSC/Service Program Coordinator) as we answer your questions about how the new policy will affect your ongoing work with sawyers inside and outside the agency. This webinar is available to employees and cooperators alike. As most of the webinar will be devoted to answering your questions and providing clarification please come prepared to participate.

Does the new policy affect wild land firefighters?

Can volunteers be certified?

What do I need to change in volunteer, cooperating, challenge cost share and participating agreements that use sawyers?

All this and more!

Background information is available here!

Saw Policy | US Forest Service

The Forest Service, working with other agencies, partners and the public, established a policy for training and use of cross-cut and chain saws. Sawyers covered by those policies often maintain trails on national forests and grasslands, help fight wildfires, and work in wilderness where crosscut saws are required. The national saw directive standardizes training, evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating on lands managed by the agency.

Saw Operations Guide

FS Saw Operations Guide (.doc)

Federal Register notice

Final Directive for National Saw Program (link is external)

Details for the webinar are below.

Use Information Below to Access Webinar Using a Computer

Adobe Connect Webinar Connection Information:
To join the meeting:
1. Go to https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/dv/
2. Keep “Enter as a Guest” selected
3. Type your name or location (if multiple people are joining together) into the “name” box
4. Click “Enter Room”
Accessibility Features

– Live Captions will be provided.

Keyboard Commands provide accessibility to Adobe Connect. Some important commands include:

– Ctrl + F6 Move focus from pod to pod in the meeting room

Note: from a Mac computer, use the “command” key instead of “ctr.”

– Tab Access different options within a specific pod, e.g., to read or type chat messages.

Use your screen reader “read all” command (Insert + down arrow in JAWS) to read PowerPoint files shared in the meeting room.
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:

Test your connection: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview:

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.
Need Help? If you need help connecting to the web meeting, contact Adobe Connect at 800-422-3623.

If You Do Not Have Access To A Computer During This Webinar Use Information Below To Access Conference Call

Conference Call – Audio Information
The conference begins at 11:30 AM Central Time on August 23, 2016; you may join the conference 5 minutes prior.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0235179#
Need an international dial-in number?
Need technical assistance? Call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

02. August 2016 · Comments Off on Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation 2016 Summer Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

SBFCaug2016 SBFCaug2016-2

Read the summer newsletter

30. July 2016 · Comments Off on Prosecutors: Bill Of Rights Shouldn’t Cover Malheur Occupiers’ Actions · Categories: Current Events


by Conrad Wilson Follow and Ryan Haas OPB | July 29, 2016 9:15 p.m.


15. July 2016 · Comments Off on Opinion – Idaho cowboys don’t need their ATVs in wilderness · Categories: Current Events

By Ken Cole and Kevin Proescholdt

We hear a lot about the custom, culture and tradition of livestock ranching, and we’ve all seen the images of the chap-wearing cowboy mounted proudly on his horse riding behind his herd.

But these days, it seems, Idaho’s Owyhee country cowboys aren’t so rugged. They’ve asked for special legislation allowing them to have virtually unlimited use of motor vehicles in the six Owyhee Canyonlands wildernesses, putting wilderness protection at risk across the country and undermining the existing rules that allow motorized use for grazing purposes only where and when it’s necessary — the same rules that govern wilderness cowboys everywhere else in the West.

The new bill, S.1167, sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, would not only allow ranchers to drive trucks, ATVs, motorcycles and other vehicles into wilderness, but also remove the management authority of the Bureau of Land Management to decide where motorized use is permissible. The ink has barely dried on BLM’s new management plan to govern these wildernesses, issued after three years of public involvement. It should be given time to work before being undermined.

The agency itself testified in Congress against the bill, explaining that S.1167 would undermine “the longstanding definition and spirit of wilderness as established in the Wilderness Act of 1964.” Twenty-six conservation groups have also opposed the bill, so why are groups such as The Wilderness Society in support? We think that they are more concerned about bringing back provisions of the deal they struck with ranchers, provisions that were rightly rejected by Congress when the final wilderness language was approved in the 2009 bill creating the wildernesses. Is deal-making more important than the conservation of these spectacular areas? Because The Wilderness Society made a Faustian bargain with a handful of Owyhee ranchers, do they think the Owyhee wildernesses and the American public should have to suffer for it?

If Owyhee ranchers don’t want to walk or climb into the saddle and ride into the wilderness, they should consider taking advantage of a grazing buyout option that was authorized by the enabling bill. Private parties stand at the ready to give Owyhee ranchers a fair price to relinquish their grazing permits and restore these desert wildernesses from harmful livestock grazing impacts. Rather than weakening wilderness by allowing additional motorized incursions, our legislators should instead support strengthening wilderness by getting the nonnative domestic livestock off. The bill would also set a dangerous precedent for all wildernesses in the U.S. where ranchers still abide by longstanding motorized restrictions.

Having cows in wilderness is compromise enough; having cowboys riding noisy motor vehicles is a bridge too far. S.1167 should be roundly opposed by anyone who cares about the integrity of wilderness laws.

Ken Cole is Idaho director for Western Watersheds Project, a regional conservation organization based in Hailey. Kevin Proescholdt is the conservation director for Wilderness Watch, a national organization based in Missoula, Mont.


S.1167 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): Owyhee Wilderness Areas Boundary Modifications Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

07. July 2016 · Comments Off on Mustang Maddy is coming to Boise · Categories: Current Events


Hi All,
I want to put this out to our group first to see if anyone is interested in working with Madison Shambaugh. www.madisonshambaugh.com (also on FB Madison Shambaugh).    Most people aren’t familiar with Madison. She won the 2015 Mustang Challenge where she was given a wild mustang to train for 100 days prior to the competition. She rode in to the arena and did the usual reining patterns, but bridleless. Madison has trained several mustangs and a zebra-she’ll have all 5 equines with her.  Watch a few of her videos to learn more.

I attended Madison’s horsemanship clinic in Virginia (long story about my unexpected surgery), but didn’t get to attend much of it. I offered to let Madison stay here on her way from Utah to another clinic and she is willing to do that. She has opened up Aug. 11th for private lessons ($100/hr), groups of 2-3 ($65/hr), and auditors ($25/day).

Topics are open: problem horses (bucking, rearing, pulling back, bolting, pushy, biting, trailer loading, etc), liberty, bridleless, and body control on the ground and under saddle for softer horses. She can evaluate a horse and rider and give them exercises to challenge them and advance them in their horsemanship skills.

Let me know ASAP if you’re interested. We’ll hold the lessons at Birt Arena in Nampa in the indoor arena (shade) potentially from 8am to 8pm.
I’ll have a flyer available soon.

Thanks! Lou Ann


06. July 2016 · Comments Off on 2015 BCHA Stat’s 2015 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events



03. July 2016 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteers Blog · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events


Exploring Bighorn Crags in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

If it’s natural/biodegradable is it still litter?

Hanging Bear Bags, PCT Style