November 21, 2020 was a blue bird day for penguins, at 10:00 it was 33 degrees at my home, but the urge to get in one last ride while the roads are not snow covered was too great. I was curious about the Woodland Fire near Cambridge, so I dress for cold riding and headed for the Brownlee campground to see what damage was done on Cuddy Mountain.  There is fire damage on both sides of Highway 71, but most was on the north side.  There are still hot spots that the rain and snow have not completely put out yet, but it is very unlikely they can spread.  No building along the road were damaged, but the black goes right to the edge of some of them.  Cuddy is a patch work, black areas but also a lot of unburned areas.

Brownlee Camp ground did burn, but most of the big trees should be ok, in that area it mostly burned the brush. No idea what the condition of the trail on that part of the mountain are like, something to check out next summer.


The Woodhead Fire burned almost 100,000 acres to date and is now 100% contained. The burned area is located east of Council, Idaho including lands in the Payette National Forest. Starting September 28, a team of Forest Service specialists conducted field assessments to determine the need for burned area emergency response (BAER) treatments. Specialists included hydrology, soils, engineering, botany, range, recreation, fisheries, archeology, and wildlife. BAER is a specific effort to reduce further damage due to the land being temporarily exposed in a fragile condition. Loss of vegetation exposes soil to erosion; water runoff may increase and cause flooding; sediment may move downstream and damage houses or fill reservoirs, putting habitat and community water supplies at risk. The BAER program is designed to address these situations through the key goals of protecting life, property, water quality, and deteriorated ecosystems.

Led by West Zone Hydrologist Melanie Vining, the Woodhead Fire BAER Team uses satellite imagery of the burned area to classify the landscape into low, moderate, and high soil burn severity. The fire on the forest burned in a mosaic pattern with most of the burned area classified as unburned, low severity, or moderate severity. The burned area was initially classified using the satellite imagery and adjustments in classification were made based on ground surveys to yield a final soil burn severity map.

The entire burned area is mapped, though the field work and treatments identified by the Forest Service BAER Team are limited to only the acres of burned area on the Payette National Forest. A BAER Plan summarizing the assessment results and describing the proposed treatments has been prepared and is pending approval. Approved treatments will be implemented over the next 12 months using federal dollars on federal lands. Areas of concern for watershed impacts are in places that experienced higher burn severity, namely in Crooked River, No Business Basin, and Brownlee Creek.

After the fire burn severity map is completed and the BAER treatment plan is approved additional information will be provided to the public. While the BAER program does not prescribe treatments on non-federal lands, the assessment and hydrologic risk analysis can be useful to adjacent and downstream landowners to inform their own range of possible treatments. The Woodhead BAER team continues to share information with County officials and other agencies who in turn coordinate with affected landowners.

The company owned by a pair of Texas Billionaires who bought up significant land holdings in Idaho in recent years – listed a big chunk of it for sale.

The property listing comes to light as another for-profit company hopes to convince State of Idaho leaders to transfer control of a similarly-sized piece of property nearby.

Dan and Farris Wilks’ Wilks Ranch Brokers listed a 48-square-mile piece of property to the west of McCall for sale last year. The property, which the Wilks’ call McCall Red River Ranch, is the largest piece of property for sale by the firm. Last year, the Idaho Statesman estimated the Wilks’ own more than 300 square miles of land across the state.

“At over 30,000 contiguous deeded acres, McCall Red Ridge Ranch is a scenic mountain timber ranch nestled in the stunning Payette National Forest,” Wilks Ranch Brokers says of the offering on its website. “Overlooking and adjacent to the major tourist town of McCall, Idaho, the ranch has uniquely positioned mountain ranges…  A unique and rare first time offering, this recreational and productive ranch is full of water, timber, big game, and endless division and subdivision possibilities.”

Fall 2020 NWSA Newsletter now Available

WATCH VIDEO
The Pacific Southwest Region’s Pack Stock Center of Excellence is an innovative program that honors Forest Service tradition while addressing current and future needs. This 12-minute video shows how horses and mules have been used in the agency since its inception. With the passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which generally prohibits motorized equipment and mechanized transport in these areas, packing has become the key method of transportation for both people and supplies into the backcountry for increasingly important work.

READ MORE

19. October 2020 · Comments Off on American Kestrel Nest Box Plans · Categories: Around The Campfire

Installing and Monitoring a Nest Box


AMERICAN KESTREL NEST BOX PLAN & CONSTRUCTION

19. October 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho Fish & Game – Fall Fish Stocking of Back Country Lakes · Categories: Around The Campfire, Work Parties and Projects

This summer a member of the chapter mentioned that in the past he had participated in packing in fish to a mountain lake and suggested that we might want to contact Fish & Game about getting some of their left over fish fingerlings in the fall after they had finished with their planned stocking.  Calls were made and Malia Galloher 208-305-7822 in McCall agreed to call us if fish were available and we could agree on suitable lakes that could use them.  At the end of September Malia called and said they had some Grayling that they would like to stock in lakes on the south western side of the Frank Church.  The lakes being considered were Pistol and 44 lake near Landmark.

Arctic grayling grow to a maximum recorded length of 76 cm (30 in) and a maximum recorded weight of 3.8 kg (8.4 lb). Of typical thymalline appearance, the Arctic grayling is distinguished from the similar grayling (T. thymallus) by the absence of dorsal and anal spines and by the presence of a larger number of soft rays in these fins. There is a dark midlateral band between the pectoral and pelvic fins, and the flanks may possess a pink iridescence. T. a. arcticus has been recorded as reaching an age of 18 years.

Where are grayling found?
RANGE: Arctic grayling are native to drainages of the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay and Northern Pacific Ocean in North America and in Asia. Two distinct populations historically inhabited waters in Michigan and Montana. The distinct population of Arctic grayling in Michigan is now extinct.

The arctic grayling is not native to Idho or Utah, but it has been introduced into several high elevation lakes in the Mountains. The arctic grayling eats primarily invertebrates, including insects, insect larvae, and zooplankton. … Grayling are related to trout and can be caught using familiar techniques.

How do you catch a grayling in a lake?
Arctic grayling can be caught in mountain lakes and streams. Grayling are typically caught with artificial baits including small spinners, lightweight jigs, wet flies and dry flies. They can be easily caught using a spinning rod and spinning reel.

Are Grayling good to eat?
Alaskan Arctic Grayling are a delight to catch as they readily hit dry flies and are a darn good fight for their size. … It is debated that the Alaska grayling is one of the best eating freshwater fish in the world. Their flesh is white and flaky when cooked over an open fire for a tasty shore lunch.

Life cycle
Several life history forms of Arctic grayling occur: fluvial populations that live and spawn in rivers; lacustrine populations that live and spawn in lakes; and potamodromous populations that live in lakes and spawn in tributary streams.

The Arctic grayling occurs primarily in cold waters of mid-sized to large rivers and lakes, returning to rocky streams to breed. The various subspecies are omnivorous. Crustaceans, insects and insect larvae, and fish eggs form the most important food items. Larger specimens of T. arcticus become piscivorous and the immature fish feed on zooplankton and insect larvae.

Spawning takes place in the spring. Adult fish seek shallow areas of rivers with fine, sand substrate and moderate current. Males are territorial and court females by flashing their colourful dorsal fins; the fins are also used to brace receptive females during the vibratory release of milt and roe. The fish are nonguarders: the eggs are left to mix with the substrate. Although the Arctic grayling does not excavate a nest, the highly energetic courtship and mating tends to kick up fine material which covers the zygotes. The zygote is small (approximately 3 mm or 0.1 in in diameter) and the embryo will hatch after two to three weeks. The newly hatched embryo remains in the substrate until all the yolk has been absorbed. They emerge at a length of around 12 to 18 mm (0.5 to 0.7 in), at which time they form shoals at the river margins. The juveniles grow quickly during their first two years of life.

Idaho Fish & Game McCall Hatchery

Species Production – Summer Chinook salmon is the primary species produced at McCall hatchery. A resident species program operates during the summer months, producing small fish for statewide mountain lake stocking, and redistributing catchable size rainbow into local area waters. https://idfg.idaho.gov/fish-identification

The Plan was for Joe Williams with his stock to drive up to the Pistol Lake trail head north east of Landmark on FR – 447 on Thursday October 15, and Rob Adams to meet Fish and Game on Friday the 16 to shuttle the fish to the trail head. Arrangements were made to meet F&G in Cascade on Friday morning at 08:00 at Grandma’s dinner. At 07:50 the F&G truck arrived and eight 3 gallon bags of fish were quickly loaded into coolers in Rob’s truck.  The drive from Cascade to the trail head takes around 90 minutes and when Rob Arrived Joe was just finishing saddling his stock.

A bit of air was removed from each bag and the fish were loaded into some ridged pack boxes and the rest of the loads were hung and within 60 minutes of Rob’s arrival Joe was loaded and heading down the trail for the 7 mile ride into 44 Lake.Joe reported on Sunday, that the fish did well and only a few didn’t hit the lake water and quickly disappeared into its depths.  In a couple of years there should be some good Grayling fishing in this remote mountain lake.

18. October 2020 · Comments Off on IWF – Keep Idaho Public · Categories: Around The Campfire

22. September 2020 · Comments Off on USFS – Emmett Ranger District · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

The culmination of 2020 Field season; showcasing the timber harvest and restoration of the Sagehen area including roadside hazard and removal of hazard trees in campgrounds for public health and safety.
WATCH VIDEO

Brenden Cronin is the River Ranger on the Payette River on the Boise National Forest. Brenden describes his job and his work duties on the river. Brenden spends time floating the river, picking up trash, cleaning toilets, and he helps people load and unload their boats from the river. There are seven river sites along the Main Payette River and Brenden maintains those by stopping at those sites and picking up trash and cleaning those toilets at the sites. Brenden spends time talking to people on the river and informing them about the use of the river and any hazards that might exist.  Filmed and edited by Charity Parks.  WATCH VIDEO

WATCH VIDEO

WATCH VIDEO

21. September 2020 · Comments Off on Trail Signs for people who should stay on their couches · Categories: Around The Campfire

 

13. September 2020 · Comments Off on Satire – National Park Posters · Categories: Around The Campfire

Posters for some of your National Parks

11. September 2020 · Comments Off on Vote Public Lands · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Today we’re relaunching #VotePublicLands, American Hiking’s nonpartisan voter education and engagement effort.

2020 has been a big year for public lands, and we’ve seen that when the hiking community uses its collective voice we can advance public land priorities. We worked hard for the Great American Outdoors Act to become law with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the work doesn’t stop there. We as hikers need to work towards equitable access to the outdoors for all.

One of the most important ways to make our voices heard is to VOTE. Through #VotePublicLands, American Hiking provides our members and supporters easy to use resources to register to vote, check registration status, and request an absentee ballot/vote by mail.

Explore the key issues to be strong public lands advocates
31. August 2020 · Comments Off on Equipment – MOTORCYCLE CHAINSAW MOUNT · Categories: Around The Campfire

Build in Idaho

https://datinfab.com/motorcycle-chainsaw-mount/#product-reviews

Universal Motorcycle Chainsaw Holster.

Fork mounting, locks down tight and secure with a 1″ cinch strap for fast, easy on and off. Fits most chainsaws up to 18″. Trusted by the Idaho BLM

  • One strap. Fast easy removal.
  • Locks down tight and secure.
  • Made of 14 ga. laser cut steel.
  • Black texture powder coated.
  • Stainless steel fasteners.
  • Universal mount, fits many bikes.
  • Easy assembly with Allen wrench and end wrench.
  • The best motorcycle chainsaw mount for the money.
  • Proudly made in Idaho USA

Datin Metal Fabrication LLC.

Middleton, ID 83644 USA

Call us at 208-713-1359

11. August 2020 · Comments Off on Wilderness Blog – SBFC · Categories: Around The Campfire


READ BLOGS

09. August 2020 · Comments Off on Cowboy Campground, Idaho City is looking for a Host · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Update – August 23, 2020 Cowboy Campground has found a host. She will be starting on Wednesday.
Thanks Arlynn

Hi, All –

If you have been in touch with Sabrina recently she may have mentioned to you that we would like to have a camp host up at the campground.  We would like to start our search with the local Backcountry Horsemen chapters, as we feel this would be a great pond to fish in for folks who are competent and trustworthy.  If we don’t find them within your chapters then we will expand our search to other chapters and a few other organizations, such as Facebook groups and maybe the Forest Service.

We have developed the attached flyer for our search.  Would you all be so kind as to send it out to your chapters?

Also, I want to be clear as to which chapter you’re each a part of, so can you reply and let me know, please?

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via Email or my cell at 208-629-9270.

Thanks – Diane Carty  horsey4life@msn.com   

27. July 2020 · Comments Off on Leave No Trace Camping Puppet Show for Kids · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Leave no trace camping puppet show for kids was created by volunteer Ethan and Ranger Katie in 2009 to communicate to children at lower grade levels. Alaska Park Service     Watch Video

21. July 2020 · Comments Off on Trailmeister – High Line Revamp · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

The highline  – Way back in 2009 I created a highline how to video. It’s been  pretty popular and I hope it’s been helpful. But that was over a decade ago and lots of things have changed in that time. Not only do I have less hair, and a rocking beard, I set up my highline differently now.

It’s time to refresh, revamp, and revise this piece. Please join me as we discover the joy of “A Better Way to Hold Your Horses”.

The highline. At its heart it’s just a stout rope stretched between two sturdy objects. But like many things that seem simple at first blush there’s a little more to it.

Done well a highline is a safe and effective tool to help keep our ponies out of trouble. Done poorly there’s few easier ways to heartbreak.

READ MORE    /     Buy a highline kit

11. July 2020 · Comments Off on JEFF PADGETT – ST. MARY PEAK VOLUNTEER LOOKOUT HOST · Categories: Around The Campfire

I awoke thinking of death And being unable to go back to sleep Read of death in Leaves of Grass “Yourself! Yourself! Yourself, forever and ever!”

The darkness envelops It is fearful, yet common The comforting hearths of the ants of the Bitterroot Valley below me Yet on the other side, black I know what is there but I cannot see it
READ MORE

29. June 2020 · Comments Off on ITA- Executive Director Jeff Halligan announces his retirement · Categories: Around The Campfire

Job Posting
https://www.idahotrailsassociation.org/2020/06/ita-seeking-executive-director/

28. June 2020 · Comments Off on inReach Field Experience Webinar · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

View On-line

22. June 2020 · Comments Off on BCHI – Treasure Valley Chapter – National Trails Day Project · Categories: Around The Campfire

Treasure Valley has posted a great report on their delayed National Trails day project on their Facebook page. Check it out!

21. June 2020 · Comments Off on P&R Idaho Non-motorized Trail Stickers Available · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

EPSON MFP image

19. June 2020 · Comments Off on Garmin Sale on Select inReach Devices · Categories: Around The Campfire

Link to Website

12. June 2020 · Comments Off on National Fuel Geyser Awareness · Categories: Around The Campfire

 

 

11. June 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – A summer in the Church · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

WATCH VIDEO

02. June 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – Moose Creek Volunteers · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE

28. May 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – The Wildest Place – Spring 2020 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Click on Picture or HERE to read

Hello Wilderness advocates!
I hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and enjoying the outdoors.

Once again, we are adapting to our circumstances.  The printer we normally use to print/mail the newsletter remains closed.

We are delivering the Spring 2020 edition of the newsletter to your inbox rather than your mailbox.  We’ve put the newsletter in a format that we hope you enjoy.  You can electronically turn the pages as you would our printed newsletter. Just click on the side arrows to turn the pages!  You can access the newsletter by clicking on the button below!  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

23. May 2020 · Comments Off on FUD – One of these might be a good thing to have in your saddle bags. · Categories: Around The Campfire

Female Urinary Devices, also known as FUDs, or pee funnels, can really save the day. These items are a well-kept secret of female campers because they let you go #1 without having to drop your pants completely. Without these devices that let you pee standing up, women have to wander very far away from camp to get the privacy they need. With an FUD., since you can actually “go” while standing up, you experience the same “go anywhere” convenience that men enjoy.
TB Video        Review of 10 FUD products

22. May 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – Taking a Walk · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE

 

19. May 2020 · Comments Off on How to Tie the Highwayman’s Hitch · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

How to Tie the Highwayman’s Hitch

How to tie the HIGHWAYMAN’S HITCH  – Knot Tying Instructions

The Highwayman’s hitch is a quick-release hitch used for temporarily securing a load that will need to be released easily and cleanly, such as your horse! The hitch can be untied with a tug of the working end. The highwayman’s hitch can be tied in the middle of a rope, and so the working end does not need to be passed around the anchor, or rail, when tying or releasing.

Steps to Highwayman’s Hitch

1 – Double your rope to make the first bight in the rope and place the bight behind your rail.

2 – Make a second bight in the standing line and pass that bight through the first bight

3 – Take the working end and make a third bight.

4 – Pass the third bight through second and pull on the standing line to snug the knot.

The knot holds with tension on the standing part and can be released with a tug on the working end.

And here’s the video on How to Tie the Highwayman’s Hitch

17. May 2020 · Comments Off on Outdoor Idaho – Trailblazers · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education, Public Lands

https://www.idahoptv.org/shows/outdooridaho/

16. May 2020 · Comments Off on NWSA – Special Report “Going Outdoors or Staying Inside” · Categories: Around The Campfire

Special Report
Going Outdoors or Staying Inside
May 2020

Many people are turning to the outdoors to cope with the stress and concerns of the Corona Virus Pandemic. Volunteer groups may also be considering offering outdoor activities to the public to address this public use. But is this a good idea? Not really. Here is the rationale for why we need to encourage everyone to stay home and stay local.

Short Term Issues
The immediate effort nationwide is to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. This is being accomplished by requesting, and in some states demanding, that people self-quarantine, maintain social distancing, and practice good hygiene practices. Non-essential businesses where large number of people congregate like restaurants, theaters, bars, and gyms have been closed. Sporting events of all types have been cancelled and venues closed. State and local parks, some National Forest recreation sites, and National Parks are being closed as well. These closures initially were intended to last 2-3 weeks but may extend for 4-6 weeks or longer depending on local infection rates.

For stewardship organizations this strategy has meant cancelling meetings, trainings, and outdoor events for the near term. Volunteer activities can be expected to be curtailed for several months. While generally access to dispersed areas like wilderness is open, some popular trailheads may be closed to prevent people from congregating.

There has also been mixed messaging about going to the outdoors to escape the virus and other people. While we extoll the virtues of getting outdoors, what has happened instead is even more people seeking out these opportunities creating large crowds in popular areas. It is important that people stay close to home, and enjoy nature in their backyards, their neighborhoods, or at least for the time being, virtually. Protecting the health of our communities and avoiding strains on the medical infrastructure, especially in our vunerable rural areas, are critical right now.

This article says it all:  High Country News:  https://www.hcn.org/articles/covid19-as-covid19-spreads-how-do-you-ethically-get-outdoors/

Here are Leave No Trace suggestions for getting outdoors:  https://lnt.org/the-leave-no-trace-recommendations-for-getting-outside-amidst-covid-19/

Here are suggestions from the Outdoor Alliance on getting outside during this crisis.

Stewardship Group Coping Strategies

Groups around the country are adapting to the crisis situation.  Here are some ideas for your organization.

  • Review your plans for the year and postpone or reschedule events to June or later.
  • Consider doing training online or with video conferencing software like Zoom of GoToMeeting.
  • Consider adapting your recruiting from a national to a local area model. Impacts to travel and concerns over the spread of the virus will continue for months impacting broad recruitment area strategies.  Local recruitment may offer new opportunities for relationship building and capacity growth while providing needed employment stimulus locally.
  • Check in with your agency partners to see what current policies are and what resources they might have available. The Park Service has created a webpage for Partners during this crisis at:  https://www.nps.gov/subjects/partnerships/publichealthforpartners.htm
  • If you have existing agreements with agency partners, start discussing now how closures will affect recruiting and summer programs. Adjust your agreements as necessary.
  • The current stand down may result in additional year end fund availability. Never too early to start discussing future projects and potential agreements with agency partners to put these funds to good use.

DOWNLOAD PAPER

05. May 2020 · Comments Off on Recreating Responsibly during Covid-19 · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE: Recreating Responsibly COVID-19

03. May 2020 · Comments Off on USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region welcomes acting regional forester · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

Intermountain Region Acting Regional Forester news release 4.20.2020

30. April 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho forests extend campground and hot springs closures, cancel rafting reservations · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

April 29. 2020

As Idaho prepares to reopen some businesses and lift its coronavirus-related stay-home order, some federal agencies are tightening or extending restrictions related to the pandemic.

In a news release on Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service announced it would extend some closures in the Salmon-Challis National Forest and cancel permits to float the Salmon River and Middle Fork of the Salmon through mid-May. Any “developed recreation sites” including campsites and day-use sites are closed through May 15, while “Forest Trail #6232, the Warm Springs Trail and the area within 250 yards from the center of Gold Bug Hot Springs” will be closed through the end of May.

Officials said anyone with a float permit will receive an email notification that their permit has been canceled, as well as a refund of any fees. Permits are required year-round to float the Salmon River and Middle Fork of the Salmon, though the primary float season is from June to September.

Forest Service officials said the continued closures are meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

“We have visitors that want to enjoy the forest but many areas are drawing more people than social distancing guidelines recommend,” said Chuck Mark, Salmon-Challis National Forest supervisor, in the news release. “As spring progresses, many of these recreation sites are beginning to become accessible. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. The forest is developing a plan to phase reopening some sites when conditions allow.”

Similarly, the Boise National Forest announced on Friday that it would extend closures at campgrounds, hot springs and trailheads through June 30 due to the pandemic. The agency had previously announced that many popular campgrounds near Boise, including Cottonwood, Sage Hen and Peace Valley, would be closed through the end of June; however, its early April closure of hot springs had no initial expiration date.

A list of all affected Boise National Forest sites can be found online at fs.usda.gov.

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced restrictions at Lucky Peak Dam. The Corps said, until further notice, fires and camping are prohibited and boats are required to be docked at a marina or out of the water between sunset and sunrise. According to the Corps’ news release, the restrictions were “made in response to public safety and resource protection concerns,” though it’s not clear if they are related to coronavirus. The Statesman has reached out to the Corps for more information.

BNF-Closed PDF              04-03-2020 Idaho COVID Group Limits of 10 order SIGNED

19. April 2020 · Comments Off on 4 Mile Creek HMA – Emmett, ID · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides, Public Lands

About 15 miles north of Emmett is 25,806 acres of rolling hills, prominent buttes and ridgelines that make up the Bureau of Land Management’s Four-Mile Wild Horse Management Area (HMA). Elevations vary from 2,500 to about 5,400 feet.

The Four-Mile population census taken in February 2018 was 128 horses according to Boise District BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Raul Trevino.

History of Gem’s wild horses

The Four-Mile horses originated from domestic stock owned by those living in the Big Willow Creek and Four-Mile Creek areas. Pinto horses were raised by Jack Macomb in the 1930s in the Four Mile Canyon. Others raised horses in the area including Nelson McCullough on Willow Creek, Tom Wilburn on South Crane Creek and Walter Knox on the Indian Jake Ranch. These horses were not considered wild according to the BLM until people came and tried to catch them or chase them. Being difficult to corral, they were considered wild. Sixty-five privately owned horses were rounded up and removed in 1965.

At the passage of the Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971, two HMAs were identified and BLM was given authority to manage wild horses and burros on public lands. There were 75 horses in the 4-Mile HMA and West Crane HMA. Decisions removed the horses permanently from West Crane and reduced the Four-Mile to the appropriate management level of 20 head for rangeland health.

An aerial survey in 1972 counted a total of 13 adult and two foals. Of those, one was a mule, one wore a halter and another horse wore hobbles.

During a 1986 wildfire in the Four-Mile HMA, 14,000 acres burned. The horses were removed January 1987 due to a lack of forage on their home range and to allow vegetation recovery. The area was aerially seeded with grasses and forbs. Then in the fall of 1991, nine horses from the Owyhee Resource Area were introduced back into the Four-Mile HMA. Three years later there were 12 head on 18,018 acres.

Currently there are 128 horses in the HMA. The Low Allowable Management level is 37 head for the area, so the BLM is in the process of gathering and removing horses to meet the allowable number. BLM manages a total of six wild horse herd management areas in Idaho on approximately 418,000 acres of private, public and state lands.

As of March 1, 2018, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at 82,000 animals, which is more than triple the number of animals the land can support in conjunction with other legally mandated land uses. Four-Mile HMA is also overpopulated.

On April 16, 2020 Phil Ryan and Rob Adams rode the south west corner of the HMA. We saw more then 75 wild horses at least 12 of them were this year’s foals. There were also a number that look to be yearlings. WATCH VIDEO

17. April 2020 · Comments Off on Fighting wildfires in the time of COVID-19 · Categories: Around The Campfire

Washington state is gearing up for a new challenge this year – fighting wildfires in the time of coronavirus.

Fire season is already here, too — 160 fires have sparked so far statewide, with 30% of them in the western part of the state. Thursday, Dept. of Natural Resources crews were fighting two of the largest fires burning near Arlington in Snohomish County, and Acme, in Whatcom County.
“It’s been challenging to fight fire, and to get people trained up this year,” said Jay Guthrie, asst. region manager for Forest Practice and Fire with the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources.
Spring training sessions have moved online, which makes it difficult to do the hands-on learning of firefighting. Prescribed burns were canceled. Crews are also trying to practice social distancing – keeping at least six feet apart while working in the field.
They do have one thing going for them already:
“Part of normal working safety is to keep 10 feet apart, so any swing of a tool is not within range of someone else,” said Guthrie.
State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said they’re currently working with the federal government to rewrite the playbook for wildfires during a pandemic.  READ MORE

17. April 2020 · Comments Off on Mega-drought – Tree rings show soil moisture for last 1200 years · Categories: Around The Campfire

A vast region of the western United States, extending from California, Arizona and New Mexico north to Oregon and Idaho, is in the grips of the first climate change-induced megadrought observed in the past 1,200 years, a study shows. The finding means the phenomenon is no longer a threat for millions to worry about in the future, but is already here.

The megadrought has emerged while thirsty, expanding cities are on a collision course with the water demands of farmers and with environmental interests, posing nightmare scenarios for water managers in fast-growing states.

A megadrought is broadly defined as a severe drought that occurs across a broad region for a long duration, typically multiple decades.

Unlike historical megadroughts triggered by natural climate cycles, emissions of heat-trapping gases from human activities have contributed to the current one, the study finds. Warming temperatures and increasing evaporation, along with earlier spring snowmelt, have pushed the Southwest into its second-worst drought in more than a millennium of observations.

The study, published in the journal Science on Thursday, compares modern soil moisture data with historical records gleaned from tree rings, and finds that when compared with all droughts seen since the year 800 across western North America, the 19-year drought that began in 2000 and continued through 2018 (this drought is still ongoing, though the study’s data is analyzed through 2018) was worse than almost all other megadroughts in this region.

The researchers, who painstakingly reconstructed soil moisture records from 1,586 tree-ring chronologies to determine drought severity, found only one megadrought that occurred in the late 1500s was more intense.

Historical megadroughts, spanning vast regions and multiple decades, were triggered by natural fluctuations in tropical ocean conditions, such as La Niña, the cyclic cooling of waters in the tropical Pacific.

“The megadrought era seems to be reemerging, but for a different reason than the [past] megadroughts,” said Park Williams, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Although many areas in the West had a productive wet season in 2019 and some this year, “you can’t go anywhere in the West without having suffered drought on a millennial scale,” Williams said, noting that megadroughts contain relatively wet periods interspersed between parched years.

“I think the important lesson that comes out of this is that climate change is not a future problem,” said Benjamin I. Cook, a NASA climate scientist and co-author of the study. “Climate change is a problem today. The more we look, the more we find this event was worse because of climate change.”

The study is part scientific grunt work, involving sifting through drought records to find past instances of comparable conditions, and part sophisticated sleuthing that employs computer models to determine how climate change is altering the likelihood of an event like this one.

Cook said the researchers analyzed climate models for the region, which showed warming trends and changes in precipitation. They compared soil moisture with and without global warming-induced trends, “and we were able to determine that 30 to 50 percent of the current drought is attributable to climate change.”  READ MORE

03. April 2020 · Comments Off on Living with Black Bears – Black Bears in Idaho · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Black bears (Ursus americanus) are found throughout both the foothills and forests of Idaho. Between 20,000 and 30,000 black bears roam these wild lands. These bears share space with a human population that is expected to grow by more than 15 percent during the next 10 years. This means that human/bear encounters will continue and likely increase.

Every year, Idaho Fish and Game Department staff respond to dozens of calls from citizens reporting bears that have become become attracted to — and then accustomed to — human food sources such as garbage, bird seed, and pet food. Though the bears are just following their sensitive noses to high-calorie foods, being in constant contact with people can cause them to lose their natural wariness of humans. Bears intent on getting a good meal can cause harm to someone who gets in their way. For this reason, Fish and Game staff are regularly forced to euthanize some bears that have become too comfortable around people. That’s treating the symptom, not the cause of the problem.
Idaho’s mountain towns are a great place for humans, but why do bears like them so much?

Bears spend approximately one-third of the year in their den, sleeping through winter. To prepare for this, they spend most of their time during summer and fall fattening up by consuming as many calories as possible.

Contrary to popular belief, more than 90 percent of most black bear diets consist of vegetation: berries, nuts and plants. A bear’s keen nose can smell foods up to five miles away!

Bear Country
How To be Safe Around Bears

28. March 2020 · Comments Off on COVID-19 Update (BLM & USFS) · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

VISIT WEB SITE

PDF:COVID-19 USFS 2020-03-28       VISIT WEB SITE

VISIT WEB SITE

26. March 2020 · Comments Off on Stihl’s Very Small Chain Saws · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Video-1                 Video-2
The battery-powered STIHL GTA 26 garden pruner is an innovative, versatile cutting tool for garden owners and will begin shipping in late 2019. The 10-centimeter guide bar and chain prunes small-diameter branches and cuts square and round timber. The tool is supplied with energy by a replaceable 10.8V rechargeable battery and is part of the new STIHL AS cordless system for private land and garden maintenance. This system also includes the new STIHL HSA 26 cordless shrub and grass shears which will be on the market in February 2020.

Video
Swedish Homestead
182K subscribers
We got our hands on Stihl’s smallest professional chainsaw, the MS201C. It is a light weight but yet powerful saw meant for smaller tasks like thinning young forests and cutting firewood. Here is what we though about it.

Check out our other reviews:

Stihl MS462: https://youtu.be/6XJSekItbUQ
Husqvarna 572XP: https://youtu.be/Ge-LQ-MLJ_k

08. March 2020 · Comments Off on Try Horse Camping this Year! · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping

 

READ MORE

08. March 2020 · Comments Off on Solar Power for your Horse Trailer · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education, Tips, Tricks and Tid Bits

READ the Whole Story: solar power for your trailer

26. February 2020 · Comments Off on Tawnya Brummett selected as Forest Supervisor for Boise National Forest · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

06. February 2020 · Comments Off on Air Saint Luke’s Smart Phone App · Categories: Around The Campfire

Air Saint Luke’s Membership

17. January 2020 · Comments Off on BCHA Looks Back on a Successful 2019 · Categories: Around The Campfire, BCHI /BCHA

16. January 2020 · Comments Off on Catrock Ventures – SBFC · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

This past summer… a group of high school students traveled from the Bronx, NY (a borough of New York City) to the back country of Idaho.

Can you imagine?

They were enrolled in a program called Catrock Ventures… and worked with the SBFC to clear 5 miles of trail, experience life in the wilderness, and learn Wilderness skills.

Click here to view a short video of their amazing journey!!

Catrock Venture’s mission is to reach, inspire, and empower low-income youth to become socially responsible change-makers.

Many of these kids have never been away from their neighborhoods in the Bronx… much less the state of New York.

The opportunity to experience some of the most wild places in America is truly a life-changing experience for them.

And we support their efforts…

We need our youth… all of them… to become stewards of our wild places. And help preserve wilderness areas for everyone to enjoy today… and far into the future.

I hope you enjoy the video.

All the best,  Sally   Selwaybitterroot.org

13. January 2020 · Comments Off on Wyoming – Bridger Wilderness · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

About the Bridger Wilderness

The 428,169-acre Bridger Wilderness is located along the Continental Divide on the west slope of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. It was designated a Primitive Area under Department of Agriculture Regulations in 1931, and later made part of the National Wilderness Preservation System with passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. In 1984, its original 392,169 acres were increased by 36,000 acres when the Wyoming Wilderness Act was signed into law. The Bridger Wilderness is administered by the Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Topography
The intricately faulted Wind River Range is dominated by an igneous and metamorphic core. Enormous compressional forces in the earth thrust the block of granite into the air. The glaciation and erosion that followed carved the range, leaving 13,804 foot Gannet Peak the highest mountain in the Wilderness and in Wyoming.

Glacial action left cirques, kettles, U-shaped valleys, hanging troughs, 1,300 lakes, and left “erratics”, boulders strewn about the lowlands. The sedimentary rocks that once overlay the granitic core of the range have been stripped from the mountains by erosion. Remnants of the sedimentary rocks remain near Green River Lakes.

The Wind River Mountain Range has seven of the ten largest glaciers remaining in the contiguous United States. The Green River originates in the Bridger Wilderness. The Green River joins the Colorado after 1,500 miles and empties into the Gulf of California. The Green River drains most of the west side of the Wind River Range. The Sweetwater River drains the southern end of the range and flows into the Platte River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.

Access
US Highway 191, the major highway between Rock Springs and Jackson, Wyoming, lies west of the Wind River Range. Trailheads are reached via roads which are clearly signed at intersections with Highway 191. Both Jackson and Rock Springs have commercial air and bus lines. Pinedale has a paved, non-commercial public airstrip located about 6 miles south of town. Shuttle services between Jackson and Rock Springs, and trailheads, are available from local private businesses.

Trails
There are over 600 miles of trails in the Bridger Wilderness. Most well-used trails are cleared early in the season, but fallen trees may be encountered on secondary trails. Winter snows generally do not leave the high passes and highest trails until mid-July. Stream flows are high and swift during snowmelt runoff in June and July, and some stream crossings can be hazardous. Check at the Pinedale Ranger Station Office, or call them at 307-367-4326, before beginning your Wilderness trip. Books with detailed trail descriptions are available at local sporting good stores and bookstores. MAP
bridger_wilderness_recreational_livestock_application

bridger_wilderness_cover_letter_for_group_permits

09. January 2020 · Comments Off on 25 year old Cottonwood tree – Removal · Categories: Around The Campfire

Over the summer a 25 year old cotton wood that I planted when we first bought our place in Sweet was looking very poorly, more dead than alive branches. In the fall after the leaves were gone, I gave it a very close look and made arrangements for an arborist to take a look and give me an estimate to remove it that was the right course of action.  Sean McInerney of Boise Tree Service came out in November and agreed that the tree needed to come down before a good wind brought it down.  We sent an appointment for after the holidays and on January 6, 2020 his crew arrived to perform the work.

The tree was ringed by other smaller trees that I wanted to keep and would need to come down in pieces in a controlled fashion. I was interest to see if they would bring a cherry picker or climb.  When they were through, the only thing left was some saw dust, the stump was gone, the branches ground up, the larger pieces load in a trailer. I was very impressed with their sawyer skills and professionalism.

02. January 2020 · Comments Off on Stop-The-Bleed tools for your First Aid Kit · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Tourniquet – Life saving equipment – hemorrhaging is the leading cause of preventable death in tactical and non-tactical trauma situations  VIDEO

  • Life saving equipment] – hemorrhaging is the leading cause of preventable death in tactical and non-tactical trauma situations 
  • Patent pending finger hole design for better grip in mud, blood
  • No-curl tip – for the largest patients the no-curl tip resists pealing when matters most
  • Apply a second tourniquet to stop difficult arterial bleeding
  • New gen 3 us made kevlar stitching, aluminum windlass, aggressive teeth pinch buckle prevents strap pealing


QuikClot First Aid Advanced Clotting Sponge

  • QuikClot stops bleeding 3 times faster than blood on its own
  • Tested and proven in years of combat use by the U.S. military
  • Pre-hydrated zeolite clotting agent does not contain botanicals or animal and human proteins
  • Easily conforms to wounds; simply apply the sponge to the source of the bleeding and apply pressure
  • The compact size allows you to add QuikClot to your medical supplies, glove box, or emergency kit
  • VIDEO

ZipStitch Laceration Kit – Surgical Quality Wound Closure  VIDEO

  • WHEN YOU CAN’T STITCH IT, ZIP IT! This product contains the following: 1 ZipStitch device to close minor lacerations up to 1.5”, 1 alcohol wipe to clean the wound area, 1 gauze pad to help control bleeding and 1 bandage to cover and protect the closed wound, supplies for one wound. ZIPSTITCH is only 1.5″ so bring it along for that extra peace of mind in any situation where cuts may occur.
  • IT’S EASY TO USE AND EFFECTIVE: The intuitive Zip closure allows you to close minor lacerations in seconds with no pain or puncturing of the skin and is proven to be 8X stronger and leave less scarring than stitches, specially-designed adhesive lasts for up to 7 days

17. December 2019 · Comments Off on Cleaning a Saddle with Ground in Dirt & Other Cool Stuff · Categories: Around The Campfire

Cleaning a Saddle with Ground in Dirt

Leather Mystery Braid Cuff

Eye splice in double braid polyester rope