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

From the bidding pen to your freezer

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




Picture this

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

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

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

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

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

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

Private lands in Idaho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Dan Waugh (

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

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

PDF:  Foothills_Recreation_Plan_20_July2021_202107220914014507

Link to the Eagle Foothills Concept Plan:  New Submission (

Leave comments at the link above!

The Oregon Trails Coalition BLOG is a great source of information for all things trails and is worth checking out and getting on their mailing list.

An example is their piece on Trail Planning

Submitted by: Robbin Schindele
Crater Lake Wilderness Campaign Coordinator
539 SE Main Street
Roseburg, OR 97443

READ MORE: Directions May Put Novice Hikers in Danger

30. June 2021 · Comments Off on PUG – Pulaski Users Group · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

The Pulaski Users Group (PUG) organizes volunteer trips focused on trail maintenance, trail reclamation, and invasive species monitoring. Volunteers receive related training which equips them with the skills and knowledge to complete a variety of trail restoration projects. We aim to inspire community members to be stewards and advocates for our public lands.

Visit Our Web Site

11. June 2021 · Comments Off on Applied Equine Podiatry Workshop – Emmett, ID · Categories: Around The Campfire

01. June 2021 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source – May & June · Categories: Around The Campfire

Read May Issue

Read June Issue

25. May 2021 · Comments Off on Lisa Deas new Mule · Categories: Around The Campfire

I bought a new 8-year-old mule this weekend at the 4D Select Ranch Auction.  He is bonding with me and super sweet.  He has been packing in Hells Canyon for the past 4 years, so he needs some saddle time before I take him out of trails but boy am I ready!  Lisa Deas

21. May 2021 · Comments Off on Horse Health – High Insulin and Fat Horses · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Many horses that develop laminitis are overweight or obese. We know that the vast majority of laminitis cases are caused by high insulin levels. The correlation has always been obvious, and it didn’t take long for an assumption to arise that obesity is a laminitis risk factor and causes elevated insulin. There’s just one thing: it’s not true.


Relationships between diet, obesity and insulin dysregulation in horses and ponies

18. May 2021 · Comments Off on Region 4 – Forest Service News Release · Categories: Around The Campfire


18. May 2021 · Comments Off on TrailMeister – 7 Tips for better stock camping · Categories: Around The Campfire, Horse Camping



15. May 2021 · Comments Off on 4 Mile Creek HMA · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

To find out about this area CLICK HERE

11. May 2021 · Comments Off on 4 Footed Friends who have left us in 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire

Ellen Knapp’s horse “Chet” (January)

Terry MacDonald’s horse “Scout” (April)

Bill Holt’s mule “Billy Bob”  (May)

Rob Adams mustang “Kestrel”  (May)

Charles Lox horse “Brio” (June)

30. April 2021 · Comments Off on National Geographic – Wild horses and donkeys dig wells · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Humans have a long history of digging wells, but we’re not the only species to tap the earth for water: New research reveals wild horses and donkeys, also known as burros, can as well.

As described in a paper published April 29 in the journal Science, the animals use their hooves to dig more than six feet deep to reach groundwater for themselves, in turn creating oases that serve as a boon to wildlife—American badgers, black bears, and an array of birds, including some declining species such as elf owls.

Horses and burros, introduced into the wild over the centuries, have taken up residence in scattered populations throughout much of the American West. The wells they dig transform into “hotbeds of animal activity,” says Erick Lundgren, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark and the study’s first author.  READ MORE

18. April 2021 · Comments Off on 2021 Stock Camping Clinic · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

2021 Stock Camping Clinic Links

Twelve member and 26 guest spent, at times, a windy and rainy day under the 4-H shelter at the Gem Country Fair ground. The chapter had prepared over the last couple of months a number of information and hands on stations to pickup information and skills necessary to safely camp with stock both at a trail head and in the back country.

Lisa Griffith led this effort and all who participated put in a lot of hours getting ready before the first guest arrived.  A majority  of the pictures were taken before most of the guests arrived, because afterwards we were just to busy!  We also picked up a number of new members who enjoyed the clinic and want to learn more and help with our mission. We also promised them some amazing food after a great day on the trail.

16. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA is a GuideStar Platinum Organization · Categories: Around The Campfire

Back Country Horsemen of America – Guidestar Profile

Back Country Horsemen of America – Review & Ratings

12. April 2021 · Comments Off on April 11, 2021 Succor Creek Natural Area · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

Succor Creek State Natural Area lies in a deep, rocky canyon and is a remote haven for rock hounds and wildlife watchers. Limited souvenir collecting by rock hounds is permitted in the park. A rough 15 mile dirt road leads from Oregon 201 to the park, which has primitive camping and day-use areas along both side of the creek. No water is available.

The Succor Creek Bridge is open to vehicles for access to the campsites on the east side of the creek (right/south of the bridge). The road to the left/north of the bridge is not safe for vehicular travel. Staff and Staff Volunteers are not stationed at this site. This is a remote recreational experience, please prepare accordingly.

The land was obtained between 1966 and 1969 by a grant from the U. S. Government (Bureau of Land Management), and by purchase and litigation with private owners. The name Succor Creek is said to refer to early travelers in the Snake River Basin who, having been saved by the creek’s fresh water, applied the name as a corruption of the Spanish word socorro, meaning help or aid. On a brisk and sunny Sunday Morning, 14 members met at the Homedale High School parking lot and then convoyed to the state park trail head.  Succor Creek road is 15 miles of gravel that was for the most part in excellent shape with a few sections of washboard.

By 10:45 we were all saddled and ready to go, the air had warmed a bit and the wind was still lite.

Tom and Sherry noticed a bridge rock formation that we all rode up a hill to view closer. After a number of pictures were taken we continued up to a bench. The wind was picking up so we rode near the rocked, which acted as a poor windbreak.

09. April 2021 · Comments Off on Pandemic Wilderness Explorers Are Straining Search and Rescue · Categories: Around The Campfire

NYT – April 7, 2021 by Ali Watkins

Inexperienced adventurers have flooded remote areas like Wyoming’s Sublette County during the pandemic. When they call for help, the task is left to an overwhelmed network of volunteers.  LINK to Audio

PINEDALE, Wyo. — Kenna Tanner and her team can list the cases from memory: There was the woman who got tired and did not feel like finishing her hike; the campers, in shorts during a blizzard; the base jumper, misjudging his leap from a treacherous granite cliff face; the ill-equipped snowmobiler, buried up to his neck in an avalanche.

All of them were pulled by Ms. Tanner and the Tip Top Search and Rescue crew from the rugged Wind River mountain range in the last year, in this sprawling, remote pocket of western Wyoming. And all of them, their rescuers said, were wildly unprepared for the brutal backcountry in which they were traveling.

“It is super frustrating,” said Ms. Tanner, Tip Top’s director. “We just wish that people respected the risk.”

In the throes of a pandemic that has made the indoors inherently dangerous, tens of thousands more Americans than usual have flocked outdoors, fleeing crowded cities for national parks and the public lands around them. But as these hordes of inexperienced adventurers explore the treacherous terrain of the backcountry, many inevitably call for help. It has strained the patchwork, volunteer-based search-and-rescue system in America’s West.

Such operations within the parks are handled by the National Park Service. Outside those boundaries, search-and-rescue missions fall to volunteer groups like Tip Top, which since 1980 has policed the harrowing Wind River mountain range, about an hour southeast of Jackson. After decades as a well-kept wilderness secret, reserved for only the most experienced outdoor enthusiasts, a pandemic-era mainstream has now discovered this rugged stretch of Wyoming.

“They come here and they’re like, ‘It’s beautiful, it’s a big open space.’ And it is,” Lesta Erickson, a Tip Top volunteer, said. “But it’s also dangerous.”  READ MORE

06. April 2021 · Comments Off on SBFC Presents: Outdoor Conversations (Virtual Events) · Categories: Around The Campfire

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

April 15th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

Join SBFC as we talk with former Congressman Larry LaRocco and Central Idaho Representative for The Wilderness Society Rob Mason about the establishment of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Many people know the Frank as a beloved wilderness area, but not as many know the history behind championing this Wilderness designation. Learn about the legislative leg work to advance the Wilderness proposal into law during the 1970’s and 80’s, and the compromises that were made to accomplish such a feat. Senator Frank Church’s legacy lives on in these wild lands, and it is thanks to the hard work of many to ensure that the legacy of Wilderness lives on for generations to come.

Larry LaRocco is the former Director of Senator Frank Church’s North Idaho office, former two-term US House representative (1991-1995), and board member of the Frank Church Institute.

Rob Mason joined The Wilderness Society in September 2013 as the Central Idaho Representative and works on land protection efforts with communities and local stakeholders in the state.

April 22nd 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

Jim & Holly Akenson spent 21 years living in the remote wilds of the Frank Church Wilderness area at Taylor Ranch, and will give us an intimate view of the people who have lived, loved, and survived in the wild Frank. Hear firsthand about the Akenson’s experiences while living in this remote place and how their archaeological and biological research painted a rich tapestry of the deep and unyielding history of the Frank. From the Indigenous peoples who stewarded these lands for millennia, to homesteaders and modern research stations, learn something new about the ever-changing landscapes and communities that reside within these 2.3 million acres.

April 29th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

Lisa and Jeremy Johnson spent 51 days hiking the 982 miles of the Idaho Centennial Trail through some of the most remote terrain in the lower 48, including a 200-mile section of the Frank! Hear their tales from the trails—through the Frank and beyond—and learn how they survived trekking the length of Idaho. Throughout these 982 miles Lisa and Jeremy crossed through some of the most treacherous landscapes, including a challenging corridor called Marble Creek, a narrow canyon trail where trails disappear into the creek and bushwhacking is a fact of life. It also happens to be SBFC Executive Director Sally Ferguson’s favorite trail in the Frank, and a portion of the ICT that SBFC has worked to steward since 2012. Sally will give you the scoop on the work we do to protect and preserve these portions of the ICT for those brave enough to get out there!

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

05. April 2021 · Comments Off on Forest Service announces new Acting Director of Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers · Categories: Around The Campfire

Heather Provencio will serve as acting Director, Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers. She is currently the Forest Supervisor of the Kaibab National Forest in Kaibab, Arizona, serving in this capacity since 2015. Heather brings more than 15 years of leadership experience as a line officer serving as deputy forest supervisor of the White River National Forest in Colorado; district ranger on the Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest in Arizona; and various acting positions as deputy forest supervisor or district ranger. Heather works across boundaries and identifies opportunities thru improving and enhancing land management planning, promoting wild and scenic river stewardship, and cultivating wilderness ethic and leave no trace.  Heather’s formalized training started as an archaeologist and she joined the Forest Service as a co-op student in 1999.  Heather earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. 

NWSA and other Wilderness, Wild and Scenic River Organizations Support Permanently Filling the Wilderness Director position

View our Letter of Support for permanently filling this critical position.

05. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA/BCHI – Public Lands Reports · Categories: Around The Campfire

Chief Letter draft 3.3.2021

Talking Points Against Move of Wilderness

BCHA Public Lands Meeting Notes Feb 2021

01. April 2021 · Comments Off on Stock Paper – Some you need and some that are just cool! · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

A brand inspection is required when:
• Ownership changes in any manner
• Leaving the State of Idaho
• Going to slaughter

Generally, it is the responsibility of the “Seller” or “current owner” to obtain the brand inspection and pay the appropriate inspection fees.

Always ask for a brand inspection when buying livestock! If the seller issues you a “bill of sale” instead, make sure the bill of sale is valid, and you call for a brand inspection within 10 days from the date of sale. In this case, the buyer will also be responsible for getting a brand inspection within 10 days and paying the brand inspection fees.

If you accept a bill of sale in lieu of a brand inspection certificate, and the animal is carrying a brand not recorded to the person who issued the bill of sale, then you could very well have to clear that brand before a brand inspection could be done.

Not obtaining a brand inspection when required by the Idaho brand laws is considered an infraction for the first offense and a misdemeanor for the second offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $300 and or six months in jail.


BLM Mustang Program


The BLM maintains a network of permanent off-range corrals and hosts hundreds of off-site adoption events each year to find homes for excess animals.  Qualified adopters must meet standard requirements for owning and caring for a wild horse and burro, including specific facility parameters to ensure the safety and health of the animals. Purchasers must meet other requirements as well and certify they will provide a good homes to their purchased animal. In general, whether adopting an animal at an off-site event or purchasing one from a permanent off-range corral, prospective owners should follow the steps outlined below. To adopt or purchase an animal over the Internet, visit the Wild Horse and Burro Online Corral.

1. Requirements: Ensure you meet the standard requirements for adopting or purchasing a wild horse or burro. You can find requirements in the Important Documents section of this webpage. Visit our Sales Program page for information on the process to purchase a sale-eligible wild horse or burro.

2. Find an event or location near you: Contact your preferred off-range corral location or make plans to visit an upcoming off-site adoption event near you. Each facility may have additional requirements beyond what is stated in the application; it is recommended that you contact your preferred corral and visit the facility’s website for more information. The BLM also hosts periodic adoption/sale opportunities on the Online Corral.

3. Application: Complete an adoption application or sales application and mail/fax it to your local BLM office, or bring it with you to the appointment or event.  You will also be able to complete an application at the facility or onsite at the event or facility.

4. Appointment: Arrive at the facility for your appointment or visit the event during the stated hours for viewing and adopting/purchasing animals.

5. Pick-up: Arrange for payment and pick up of your wild horse or burro directly from the facility or event.  Generally, the new owner is responsible for all transportation costs for the animal.  If you are unable to provide transportation from the facility, consider adopting or purchasing an animal during a scheduled competitive bid event on the BLM’s Online Corral, which may have a drop-off location that is more conveniently located.


We do not offer ancestry testing for dogs, cats or any other species – just horse.

Ancestry testing is $50 per animal, payable by check/money order made out to Texas Agrilife Research – VTAN.

Our turnaround time is two weeks once the sample is received in the lab for testing. 

Download the Horse ancestry submission form here.

The modern horse was re-introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. The earliest horses to reach North America were of Spanish origin. Although horses from other parts of the Europe were subsequently introduced, some New World populations maintain characteristics ascribed to their Spanish heritage. There are more than 58 million horses in the world, with more than 10 million horses in the United States of America (FAO 2013 data). It is difficult to calculate exactly how many horse breeds there are as the Domestic Animal Diversity System lists 1549 horse breeds, however many countries list same breeds like Arabian, Thoroughbred and etc. so that some breeds are counted more than one time. The Department of Animal Sciences – Oklahoma State University maintains a website that lists over 200 breeds alphabetically, International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds by Hendricks (1995; 2007) describes nearly 400 breeds but estimates there are well over 600.

Throughout the years we collected and genotyped an extensive number of horse breeds and populations from around the world (see selected publications), however to represent our reference panel for ancestry testing we selected 50 breeds that are most common for the North America and also represent the major horse groups: draft horses; ponies; Oriental and Arabian breeds; Old World and New world Iberian breeds. Selected breeds are more probable to be the ancestors of current horses in North America and it would be unreasonable for us to use rare or endangered breeds like Waler (Australia), Timor pony (Timor Island), Cheju horse (a southern island of Korea), Namib horse (Africa), Tushuri horse (Georgia) or Pindos (Greece) and etc. Also some North American breeds are not on the list, – example: Appaloosa, American Paint horse, because registries are open or partially open and allow crossbreeding. Mustangs are also not on the breed list as it is now primarily a feral horse found in the western United States and managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Originally mustangs were Spanish horses or their descendants, however throughout the years they had influence from many different horse breeds. There are several mustang registries, but overall there is just too much complexity to consider them in breed ancestry analysis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23. March 2021 · Comments Off on WILDERNESS TEACHES LIFE LESSONS · Categories: Around The Campfire


This article was first published in the Missoulian July 11, 2014 and was submitted to help mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

What comes to your mind when you think about college? Did your experience include large lecture halls, dining hall food, pulling all-nighters to prep for exams, or maybe one too many nights of partying? When you think of your college-aged self, what would you tell them?

Well, since I’m 21, I don’t have the advantage of having quite the distance or life experience away from my university years to give myself advice – heck, I’m still in the thick of navigating class registration, renting my first apartment, and learning how to balance my social and academic commitments and interests. Like many a college kid, I’ve spent time wondering whether or not I am in the right major, and how there can never quite be enough time in the day to go to class, do homework, visit with friends, exercise, find jobs and internships, and manage to keep my clothes in a closet rather than strewn across the floor (from what I’ve heard, the concept of time just gets shorter and shorter with age). READ MORE

04. March 2021 · Comments Off on 12 Volt Truck Fridges · Categories: Around The Campfire


02. March 2021 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source March 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE                 North West Horse Source

01. March 2021 · Comments Off on February Birds of Prey Ride · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

On a brisk and clear February 28th 18 members and guest from two chapters of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho met up in the trailer parking area of Celebration Park along the Snake River.  As the morning warmed up riders tacked up and the first of the gnats started to show-up.  By 10:45 we were in the saddle and starting for the Birds of Prey area.  New members Nikita Ward and Jeremy Matthews has parked their rig in the lower parking lot and some of the riders stopped while they got their stock ready, while other riders continued on.  As it often the case in group fun rides like this one, the group quickly divides in to a number of smaller group and in this case chose different trails.

A group of mule riders from the Treasure Valley chapter chose a faint trail that headed up through some pretty large boulders along the cliff side of the park.
While others chose the more traveled trails meeting a number of hikers.
At the eastern end of the loop the group stopped at the old corrals for a stretch and a snake. A number of marmots were sunning on the rocks.

As the day progressed the sky became cloudy and a breeze picked up, which helped with the bugs. By 15:00 everyone was back to the trailers, stock was un-tacked and good bye said. All indicated that they enjoyed themselves and were looking forward to the next ride in March.

17. February 2021 · Comments Off on Sawyer – First Aid training waver for certified sawyers 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

First Aid Waiver 2021

16. February 2021 · Comments Off on UCO – Flatpack Grill & Firepit · Categories: Around The Campfire

About this item

  • Stainless steel grill folds to 1.5 inches thick and fits in a backpack; can be used as a fire pit; comes in regular or mini sizes (sold separately)
  • Regular size features 13 x 10-inch grilling area for up to 6 servings; mini features 9 x 6.75-inch grilling area for up to 3 servings
  • Stable base for safe grilling; quick 30-second setup; sides of grill serve as a wind-break
  • Safely contains fire and keeps fire off the ground; constructed from durable stainless steel to provide high rust and corrosion resistance
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 10 x 1.5 inches; weight 3.2 pounds; 10 x 13 inch grilling area; 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

14. February 2021 · Comments Off on Blue Mountains Trail · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

The Blue Mountains Trail is an immersive adventure through the diverse interconnected eco-regions that comprise the Greater Hells Canyon Region. The trail will take you deep into the mountains, forests, rivers, ecosystems, and communities of northeast Oregon. It shares the living history of why the Blue Mountains are ecologically unique and more parts of it deserve permanent protection.   LINK       PDF

The Blue Mountains Trail is an immersive adventure through the diverse interconnected eco-regions that comprise the Greater Hells Canyon Region. The trail will take you deep into the mountains, forests, rivers, ecosystems, and communities of northeast Oregon. It shares the living history of why the Blue Mountains are ecologically unique and more parts of it deserve permanent protection.

trail stats

566 miles through northeast Oregon from Wallowa Lake State Park near Joseph to John Day

7 Wilderness Areas and 1 National Recreation Area in 3 National Forests

Ancestral lands of the Nez Perce, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

3 Oregon State Parks

Connects with the communities of Joseph, Troy, Tollgate, La Grande, Sumpter, Austin Junction and John Day, with connection opportunities to more nearby towns

Trail connects approaches to notable Blue Mountain summits: Eagle Cap (Wallowas): 9,573 ft – Rock Creek Butte (Elkhorns): 9,106 ft – Strawberry Mountain: 9,042 ft – Vinegar Hill (Greenhorns) 8,131 ft.

It’s official! In November, 2020, Greater Hells Canyon Council launched Oregon’s newest long-distance trail – forming a 566-mile spiral. Contemplated, mapped, and dreamed of for more than half a century by conservationists, the trail is now tangible.

The route links all seven of Northeast Oregon’s wilderness areas, requires no new trails to be built, limits road walks and bushwhacks, and connects hikers to the communities of Joseph, Troy, Tollgate, La Grande, Sumpter, Austin Junction, and John Day with ties to more nearby towns.

The pace of the past year’s work is as breathtaking as the speed of the first four thru-hikers covering rough terrain, bushwhacking alternative paths, and reporting on conditions. News of the trail’s brilliant peaks, rivers, forests, and wildlife is rippling among long distance hikers, tourism groups, communities, businesses, and conservationists.
Watch Video

04. February 2021 · Comments Off on Columbia Wear – Omni Shade UPF Shirt Sale · Categories: Around The Campfire



03. February 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteers – January News Letter · Categories: Around The Campfire


30. January 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness Redefined – Beyond “Leave No Trace” · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

Nowadays you’ll struggle to find many outdoor enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with “Leave No Trace” and the ethics embodied by the motto.

Designed as a framework to minimize the impact humans have when visiting the great outdoors, Leave No Trace guidelines are applicable to almost every recreational activity.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the principles no matter how you plan to enjoy adventuring out into the wild. We all can take something from them.

This guide will walk you through where the Leave No Trace (LNT) movement came from, outline the seven principles that make up LNT ethics, and question whether it does enough to encourage people to preserve the environment.


28. January 2021 · Comments Off on USFS Recreation & Trails Leadership Team 2021 · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Forest Service Washington Office Trail and Travel Management Programs January 2021 We are a forward-thinking team of trail professionals who embrace innovation and collaboration. We take strategic actions to leverage resources and develop program efficiencies that increase capacity at the field level in order to best serve the public. We are collaborative and open communicators who strive to promote relevancy, efficiency, transparency, and equity throughout the national trail program.

Forest Service Trail Program Partner Meeting

Brenda Yankoviak, the new Forest Service Trails program manager held a Partner meeting recently to introduce the current Trails Team and share trails information..

Meeting Notes Summary

Goals and views of the Team

National Wilderness Skills Training Survey

The Forest Service is looking at ways to host a virtual National Wilderness Skills Training this spring. Here are the results of a survey to assess interest, topics, and issues with such a training.


27. January 2021 · Comments Off on Northwest Horse Source – The Essential Halter · Categories: Around The Campfire

READ MORE        //      READ JANUARY 2021 ISSUE

24. January 2021 · Comments Off on Omnia Stove Top Oven · Categories: Around The Campfire

Shop Amazon

21. January 2021 · Comments Off on USFS Saw Program Partner Roundtable Conference Call · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

January 2021 – Sawyer Call

14. January 2021 · Comments Off on 2020 Salmon-Challis RD Trails Report · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


19. December 2020 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteer – Fall Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire

City Of Rocks Project
Wild & Scenic Salmon River Project
Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness Project (Squaw Butte will be doing pack support)

2021 modified project protocols for volunteers


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

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

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

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

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

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


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



14. December 2020 · Comments Off on The Value of Wilderness · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Bob Marshall:



Boundary Waters:

Millions of Americans breathed a deep sigh of relief in early November when Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States — not only because he signified a return to order and normalcy from the lawlessness of the Trump administration, but also because of his focus on tackling the climate change crisis. It is a gigantic task — as large an undertaking as any that mankind has faced. Opportunities have been missed and progress delayed because of political intransigence. One opportunity that we must not miss, which is before us right now, is the opportunity to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) from the danger posed by sulfide-ore copper mining.


Banning this destructive mining from the headwaters of the Boundary Waters would deliver multiple benefits of the kind critical to addressing the climate and extinction crisis, including preserving carbon sequestration; avoiding the massive energy demand of large sulfide-ore copper mines and thus eliminating major new greenhouse gas sources; and preserving a 4.3-million-acre ecosystem that provides a refuge for species threatened by climate change.

The Boundary Waters region is vital for carbon sequestration.

The 4.3 million-acre Quetico-Superior region is primarily boreal forest. Boreal forests store more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem — almost twice as much per acre as tropical forests. Keeping carbon locked in these forests and out of the atmosphere is a vital part of the fight to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. According to a federal government report prepared for members and committees of Congress, each acre of terrestrial boreal forest stores on average about 180 tons of carbon in its vegetation and soils. Destruction of boreal forest for industrial mining is a double whammy — the release of much of that carbon into the atmosphere and the loss of the capacity of the land to take up carbon in the future. The loss is even greater if wetlands are destroyed. Soil carbon levels in wetlands are nearly double the level in the terrestrial boreal forest.

Mechanical destruction of vegetation and soil is not the only harm that would result from permitting copper mining; the carbon storage assets of the Boundary Waters region (surface vegetation, soils, wetlands, and peatlands) are incredibly vulnerable to acid mine drainage – the water pollution that inevitably results from sulfide-ore mining.

Protecting the Boundary Waters is critical for greenhouse gas emission avoidance.

A leading ally of Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta, which seeks to develop the Twin Metals copper mine, is Minnesota Power, a local utility that feeds a group of energy-devouring industrial customers. According to MinnPost, 74 percent of Minnesota Power’s electricity is sold to six taconite mines and four paper and pulp mills. Just one taconite mine alone needs roughly the same amount of energy as the City of Minneapolis. Minnesota Power is aggressively seeking to grow its industrial customer base with a Twin Metals copper mine next to the Boundary Waters. Although Minnesota Power has started to shift away from carbon, it has two coal-fired generators (Boswell plant), is seeking to build a $700 million gas plant, and may re-commission a coal-fired plant on the North Shore of Lake Superior.


Becky Rom
Becky Rom

An estimate of greenhouse gas emissions, based on a 2014 Prefeasibility Report for the proposed Twin Metals mine, is 23,444,730 metric tons of CO2 over a 20-year life of the mine. This is equal to greenhouse gas emissions from adding nearly 5 million passenger vehicles to the roads for one year.

The Boundary Waters is crucial for climate adaptation and resilience.

The Wilderness Society identified 74 places in the United States that are crucial to our ability to sustain biodiversity in the face of a changing climate. These areas have three essential characteristics: (1) an especially high degree of wildness; (2) connectivity to existing protected areas; and (3) diversity of unprotected species and ecosystem types. The analysis found that the Quetico-Superior region is one of the top places in the nation with this “Wildland Conservation Value.”

A recent study by The Nature Conservancy with similar findings underscores the necessity of keeping these areas intact and undeveloped. Consistent with this, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, and The Trust for Public Land have acquired large swaths of land across northern Minnesota to keep them protected. Allowing the creation of an industrial mining zone in the watershed of the Boundary Waters would undermine the work that these and other organizations are doing to prepare us for the future.

The Boundary Waters — the heart of the Quetico-Superior region — is a vitally important regional and national asset. It is the most visited wilderness area in the United States. It is the largest wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Everglades. Sacrificing this unique and vital region to sulfide-ore copper mining would destroy not only an irreplaceable recreational and economic treasure, but what is also one of our best natural assets in the fight against climate change.

Becky Rom of Ely, Minnesota, is the national chair of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

11. December 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation – Fall News Letter · Categories: Around The Campfire


This summer, sportsmen and women rallied together to oppose the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to construct the Lake View Trail near Lucky Peak Reservoir and within the Boise River Wildlife Management Area. IWF led the charge the organize our community push back on a project that punches through critical mule deer wintering habitat. Of the total comments received, 92% voiced opposition to the construction of the 15-mile multi-use trail.

IWF and many of our affiliate organizations expressed substantial concern about the trail proposal, including the lack of analysis of impacts to the largest migrating mule deer herd in the state and their winter habitat, increased fire risk, and the lack of enforcement during seasonal closures.

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game and the Idaho Fish & Game Commission also strongly voiced these concerns and deserve our continued support. This landscape was set aside decades prior specifically for wintering ungulates and is managed under a specific Wildlife Management Area Plan. Sportsmen and women, the Department, and the Commission are standing together to protect these investments, and the future viability of the land, wildlife, and sporting opportunities.

Last week, IWF staff welcomed the release of additional scientific data that further validates these positions. The map below was published by the USGS as part of their Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States report and outlines migration routes and stopovers of Idaho’s Blacks Creek-Danskin mule deer herd, the largest migrating herd of mule deer in the state. The Army Corps’ proposed Lake View Trail would bisect the western edge of this critical habitat.

To further highlight the importance of the greater landscape, tack on this additional migration identified just on the other side Lucky Peak Reservoir, as seen in the map below.

Hunters have shown that we turn heads if we unify and speak as one voice – often it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar, but this is what determines the future of our wildlife and sporting heritage. While reports like the newly released USGS publication should impact land management decisions, it is still essential that we, as hunters, raise our voices of the value of these landscapes to decision makers. As the Army Corps inches closer to a decision, IWF will continue to closely monitor this process.

To read our original blog on this issue, click here. Be sure to check out the full USGS Report to view more of Idaho’s important migrations!


The Army Corps of Engineers has just issued a “No Action” decision for the proposed Lake View Trail in critical big game wintering habitat near Boise. The No Action alternative decision is a tremendous win in the eyes of sportsmen and women who have fought for generations to protect Idaho’s largest migrating mule deer herd from encroachment of development.

The Army Corps’ proposed Lake View Trail was a 15-mile multi-use trail near the shores of Lucky Peak Lake and in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area. Idaho Wildlife Federation opposed the trail and expressed significant concerns over the trail proposal’s location, lack of enforceable seasonal closures, fire risk, and direct conflicts with Boise River Wildlife Management Plan’s management directions. IWF, along with our conservation partners, including the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, and the Idaho Fish & Game Commission raised these points to the Corps over several months- and the Corps’ Lt. Col. Childers listened. The Corps cited that the decision to take no action at this time was due to “the very high value some stakeholders place on the ecosystem outputs provided by the existing habitat conditions and traditional significance of the area.”

“Idaho Wildlife Federation welcomes the Corps’ decision to forgo plans to construct the Lake View Trail. The trail, as proposed, brought significant risks to the landscape utilized by our state’s largest migrating mule deer herd and would have undermined generations of conservation efforts dating back to the 1940s” said Brian Brooks, Executive Director of Idaho Wildlife Federation. “We will continue leading efforts to address the needs of wildlife amidst a rapidly expanding population in Idaho.”

The hills just beyond Boise to the East make up the Boise River Wildlife Management Area; highlighted in this USGS report of major ungulate migrations of the Western US. From as early as 1943, this landscape has been set aside specifically to protect the last remaining wintering grounds for mule deer and elk that migrate upwards of 100 miles to summer feeding grounds near the Sawtooths. This data is critical to showcase the value of conserving winter range at the terminal end of these annual migrations.

“IWF owes a huge thank you to the sportsmen and women who spoke up in opposition during the public comment period,” said Garret Visser, IWF’s Conservation Program Coordinator. “Conservation wins don’t come easy. It takes a lot of work to educate folks on an issue and organize them to take action, but it’s all for nothing if no one takes the step to voice their values. This decision was made possible by our voices echoing all the way to the Army Corps’ desks in Walla Walla.”

92% of submitted public comments opposed the construction of the trail. “Those numbers are remarkable,” concluded Visser. “Wildlife conservation is still such a uniting issue.”

Check out the Army Corps’ decision here.

09. December 2020 · Comments Off on Sawtooth Society Fall 2020 Newsletter · Categories: Around The Campfire


04. December 2020 · Comments Off on To the Tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” · Categories: Around The Campfire


04. December 2020 · Comments Off on Movies to watch while in Holiday Lock Down · Categories: Around The Campfire

29. November 2020 · Comments Off on 2021 Idaho Trails Supporter · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events