Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak_Lolo IHC Tree Strike_RLS

On May 30, 2022 Charles Chick and I drove to Lowman to meet up with Todd Brown (BCHI, region 1, train the trainers sawyer) and Savanah Steele and some other USFS summer crew.  The purpose of the day was for Chick and I to renew our C certifications and to enhance our skill set.  Savanah team wanted to renew their B-Feller certification before starting the seasons work.  The day started with Todd picking a “C” bucker problem for Chick and I to work on.  While there were lots of down logs to cut, he needed to find one with a high level of complexity.  The one he found met that requirement not because of a complex bind but because it was located on a steep hillside and just getting there almost took climbing gear.  We made the climb, cut the log and completed that requirement, we then spent the rest of the day on mostly level ground, but the challenges just kept increasing.

One of the demonstrations was how to approach a hung up tree, so Todd ask that I intentionally hit a tree with one I was falling.  I succeeded almost to well with a direct hit.  Todd then explained a number of different ways to safely finish bringing the hung tree to the ground, the safest being to winch it out with a come-a-long.  I did my best to following his advice but the tree had other ideas and I succeeded it pinching my bar and the tree was still stuck.

While the rest of the team watch we tried to wedge it over without success.  As I was starting a second saw to try and finish the job, the tree made a large cracking sound and dropped to the ground taking my saw with it.  A new safety brake handle will be required to put that saw back in service.

When not cutting ourselves, Chick and I worked as instructors with the rest of the group, working on different skills and by the end of the day everyone had completed their requirements for recertification and were ready for the coming season. Thanks to Todd for making the drive down from Grangeville and working with the group.

RWA-2022-Sawyer Designation

27. May 2022 · Comments Off on Western Riding Club – Equine Education Day · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

23. May 2022 · Comments Off on 2022 Stanley Sawyer Workshop · Categories: Education

Sawyer Workshop – Stanley


23. May 2022 · Comments Off on Saw Training – Emmett Rough Riders ATV/UTV · Categories: Education

Sawyer Field Day (Emmett Rough Riders)

VSI Video

23. May 2022 · Comments Off on R4 Saw Partners May 18, 2022 Call · Categories: Education

Partners Powerpoint 5_18_22
R4 Saw Contacts_5_22


07. May 2022 · Comments Off on May Packing Clinic Follow-Up · Categories: Education


Excellent reference for useful knots for stock users

Book used by the USFS at the Nine Mile pack station


This book covers the why behind many packing practices


Packing Tips- Lots of helpful information on packing and riding in the back country.

Check out the Pack Saddle Info Guide  and other useful information on this site.

Packing equipment: Outfitters Supply / Outfitters Pack Station

On Line Video & Training

Skills Clinic Books & Handouts

Minimum Impact

Tips & Trips

02. May 2022 · Comments Off on R4 Saw Program — Additional Refresher Topics · Categories: Education

As we are heading into the 2022 field season, here are some additional emphasis areas/refresher topics and Lessons Learned links that could be helpful during your saw trainings and refreshers. 


  • Training/Recertification/Evaluation —  As we are onboarding new and returning employees, May and June are two of the busiest months for saw trainings, evaluations, and recertification’s.  Currently in Region 4 with over 2500 certified sawyers, we have several trainings and evaluations taking place amongst our partners, volunteers, and USFS employees.  It doesn’t matter if you are a “Bucking Only” volunteer organization or an Interagency Hotshot Crew, using chainsaws or crosscuts, preplanning for a medical emergency is just as important in a training scenarios as it is in an operational scenario.  Do we treat ‘training’ cutting situations different than we treat ‘operational’ cutting situations? Where should an evaluator be during the cutting operation? Where should the rest of the students be?  How many people are ‘okay’ to be around the base of the tree because its training?  Here are some Lessons Learned that may be valuable to you as you begin your refresher and chainsaw trainings:
  • Change in Complexity —   We do a good job determining complexity of a saw operation in a somewhat static environment prior to even turning on the saw.  We go through each component of OHLEC looking to identify hazards, determine leans and binds and then essentially develop and articulate a plan to safely put a tree on the ground or buck a log off a trail.  Based on the OHLEC size-up we ask our ourselves the question, “Do I have the skills and ability to safely complete this cutting operation?”  However, once we put the saw into a tree we are creating a dynamic situation where complexity can easily change based on a number of factors; i.e., rotten wood fiber that was not previously identified, incorrectly identified leans or binds, unintentionally cut more wood than planned, created a dutchman or bypass changing the intended direction of fall, or the tree began to fall and is now hung-up.   All of these scenarios would cause your plan to change and for complexity to change.   If your cut plan has changed from what you originally had planned for, take a tactical pause and understand something different is happening than what you expected to happen.  Take a breath and determine if you still have the skills and ability to safely complete the cutting operation.  Remember it is always okay to walk away from any cutting operation and look for alternative methods to safely meet the objective.  Here are some resources that may help aid in conversation around changing complexity.



A reminder that the Interim Directive (ID) that extends sawyer certifications will expire on Dec 31, 2022.   Please continue to seek opportunities to do recertification’s when possible.  Thank you for all the work that you do and please let me know if you have any questions.  Please share as appropriate.

18. April 2022 · Comments Off on Useful knots · Categories: Education

29. March 2022 · Comments Off on Webinars – Inreach enabled devices · Categories: Education

Link to Garmin Support

26. March 2022 · Comments Off on Stock Packing Training Opportunities · Categories: Education


25. March 2022 · Comments Off on Forest Service Sawyer Training – S212 (Unit 0,1,2,4A) · Categories: Education

S212 – Brushing & Bucking

Unit 0 – Introduction-Course Objectives

Unit 1 – Safety Requirements (Supplemental Information embedded in powerpont.)

Unit 2-  Chainsaw Parts, Maintenance and Operation (Supplemental Information embedded in Powerpoint.

2019 Complexity Powerpoint

Unit 4A: Chainsaw Tasks and Techniques:  Handling, Bucking, Limbing, and Brushing and Slashing

Unit 4B: Chainsaw Tasks and Techniques:  Handling, Bucking, Limbing, and Brushing and Slashing (Field Proficiency)

Here is a link to the NWCG site where there is some pre-work materials, student workbooks for S212, etc…

Regarding a certificate if you wish to issue one it would read- Forest Service Sawyer Training – S212 (Unit 0,1,2,4A)

03. March 2022 · Comments Off on Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center · Categories: Education, Safety


Travis Dotson and Alex Viktora discuss the Tree Felling Accident Analysis – a report comparing 53 different tree felling accidents.

Topics covered include:

Predicting Tree Reactions
Hung-Up Trees
Two People at the Base
Area Control
Escape Routes
Accidents During Training
If you have anything to do with chainsaws on the fireline…tune in.

Download the report at:

2021 Falling Incident with Helicopter



02. February 2022 · Comments Off on National Wilderness Skill Institute 2021 · Categories: Education, Public Meetings, Training Events



National Wilderness Skill Institute 2022 – May 24, 25 & 26, 2022


Some the more popular sessions:

11. January 2022 · Comments Off on Wilderness Connect – a valuable resource · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education, Public Lands

Wilderness Connect Link

Contact Lisa Ronald if you have a question.

09. January 2022 · Comments Off on AirFlare Rescue App · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

This App will not replace a satellite beacon service rescue device like inReach or Spot, but is a very useful low cost tool that should be part of every back country riders tool kit.


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

17. December 2021 · Comments Off on ITA Event – Goats, Llamas and Horses & Mules Packing – Plus Beer! · Categories: Education

From Melanie Vining – Executive Director
ITA is doing a January 5th, 2022 evening presentation on packing goats, llamas and horses/mules at Lost Grove Brewing at 6pm. I’ll do the mule part and a gal from New Meadows will talk pack goats, and a couple from Boise about their llamas. Should be a fun evening.  Presentations start at 18:00 (6pm)

Located in downtown Boise, our 70 seat, dog-friendly, craft beer tasting room sits directly adjacent to our brewing facility.  Large windows separate the space to give you a view into where we get our hands dirty.  Newly added outdoor seating on our front and side patios provide plenty of space for safe social distancing to enjoy one of our draft beers and food from one of our local rotating food trucks.

Come grab a beer and let us help you get lost.  1026 S. La Pointe Street, Boise, ID 83706

10. December 2021 · Comments Off on American Trails: Wheels and Legs – Reducing trail conflicts · Categories: Education
American Trails brings agencies, trail builders, planners, architects, advocates, and volunteers the latest in state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. Our webinars focus on a variety of trail topics, usually applicable to all trail types, with expert presenters. Webinar topics are chosen from current cutting-edge trail topics selected from attendee/presenter suggestions as well as recent popular conference sessions.

STREAM the Full Webinar

This webinar will be recorded and offers real-time closed captioning in English (email us if another language is required). A link to the recording, closed caption transcript, and the resources slide with links and the presenter’s email will be sent within 1-3 business days. It takes us a little time to gather all the materials.


Slow And Say Hello

18. November 2021 · Comments Off on ITA – Wild Hearts Idaho – All Girl Trail Project · Categories: Education, Public Lands


ITA partnered with Wild Hearts Idaho this year for an all-girls youth trail maintenance trip in the Gospel Hump Wilderness! From a thrilling (and wet!) jet boat ride up the Salmon River to living out of their backpacks for a week, these girls had quite the adventure in Idaho’s backcountry.

Thank you to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, the Sawtooth National Forest, and Mackay Bar Outfitters for your support on this project.

25. September 2021 · Comments Off on Utah Sawyer Program Thanks BCHI Sawyer Instructor, Mark Ottman · Categories: Education

A BIG THANKS to Mark and Roxy Ottman for helping us out down here in Utah at our Sawyer certification class in Price, Utah.

Mark did a great job of helping us. As a member of BCHU I wanted to let you know I appreciated his efforts.

Ken Snook, Helper, Utah


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

Download PMS 212

18. July 2021 · Comments Off on Adding photo’s to the Squaw Butte Web Site · Categories: Education

Did you attend a chapter event, project or ride, and take some photo’s that you would like to share with the rest of the chapter. After an album has been created and posted, you can upload your photo’s from your computer.  The photo’s will be tagged with who uploaded them.

10. June 2021 · Comments Off on Webinar – Advancing Trails June 10, 2021 · Categories: Education


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

09. May 2021 · Comments Off on Sawyer Workshop – May 8th 2021 · Categories: Education

At 09:00 on a clear, cool and windy day USFS employees, William Rockhill (Sawyer Training Coordinator for South Western Idaho), Savannah Steel (BNF Recreation Supervisor) and Caitlyn Rice (BNF North Trail crew lead) joined Tracy Zamzow, Rob Adams & Charles Chick from Squaw Butte, and Mark Nebeker for the classroom part of the USFS Sawyer Certification Workshop.
Savannah, Caitlyn, Tracy and Mark wanted to work on Saw certification and William wanted to meet us as he with be signing this years sawyer cards after we finish the training.  The classroom part of the training takes between 7 and 8 hours depending on how many questions are ask and stories told.  After a class like this every is ready to get into the back country and cut up some downed trees!

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

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

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.

14. April 2021 · Comments Off on Stock Regulations on Public Lands · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Sawtooth SRA Stock Users Pamphlet

Bolder-White Cloud Wilderness Regs

National Forest-Stock Use


06. April 2021 · Comments Off on First Aid & CPR Refresher – Saturday April 3, 2021 · Categories: Education

Instructed by Air Saint Luke’s Crewman & AHA Instructor Cheryl Bice (Treasure Valley BCH)
& Scott Morgan EMT-B Certification, BLS/CPR Instructor, and Advanced Cardiac Lifesaver.

On Saturday morning 8 students, 2 auditors and 2 instructors met at the poarch classroom at Rob & Linda Adams home in Sweet.  This room has all the advantages of being out side with louvered windows on three sides and fans for excellent air flow, plus a 55 inch monitor for watching video’s and other training material.

Cheryl led the class which was a mix of the structured instruction of the American Heart Association and lots of personal experience from her many years as a trauma technician on both Life Flight and Air St.Luke’s services.

Cheryl brought a lot of training material that was used throughout the class to demonstrate and practice on.

A number of video’s were shown, followed by demonstrations and practice.

Cheryl is not a big fan of the song “Staying a Live” so others were used to keep track of CPR pace.

The foam tiles on the floor were appreciated by all as it was much easier on our old knees

No manikins were harmed during the training.  A follow on field day is being planned for June where members of this class and anyone else who want to improve and practice their first aid skills will get a chance.

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.

17. March 2021 · Comments Off on Wilderness & Remote First Aid – American Red Cross · Categories: Education




16. March 2021 · Comments Off on National Crosscut & Chainsaw Program (NPS-USFS-BLM) · Categories: Education


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

First Aid Waiver 2021

14. February 2021 · Comments Off on Camping with Stock Clinic – April 24, 2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education

2021-04-24 Clinic Handout

13. February 2021 · Comments Off on Trail Master Webinar Series – Backcountry Cooking · Categories: Education

Masterclasses & Virtual Events

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.


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

January 2021 – Sawyer Call

17. January 2021 · Comments Off on Hand Tools for Trail Work · Categories: Education

PDF: hand tools for trail work

PDF:  Tools for Trail Work (and Restoration) from American Trails

08. January 2021 · Comments Off on Garmin – inReach Webinar: Choosing an inReach Device · Categories: Education

In this instructional webinar led by Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin, we review the features and functionalities of each inReach device, as well as what types of activities each device is best suited for.

We also discuss inReach compatible Garmin apps and products, such as GPS watches and cycling computers.



Top Tips for Using inReach Devices in the Winter

More and more, people are finding ways to enjoy outdoor activities during the winter months. And while snowy landscapes can be beautiful, colder temperatures and drastic weather can become dangerous quickly. Here are our top tips for using inReach® satellite communication devices in the winter.  

  1. Always pack your inReach. It can be even more important to carry an inReach device in the wintertime when equipment failure or minor injury can have much more serious consequences. Without the proper equipment, spending a night in the woods can have a very different outcome in the wintertime than it might in the summertime.
  1. Carry the inReach device inside your jacket and close to your body to keep it warm and extend the battery life when it’s cold, as all electronics have reduced battery performance at cold temperatures. We recommend storing it in an upper pocket for the best satellite connection.
  1. Plan the hike and hike the plan. That’s particularly important in the winter when cold temperatures and winter storms can slow or stop your progress. Use inReach tracking and your MapShare™ page to let your friends and family follow along during your trip. Send them a message if you are delayed and will be later than expected.
  1. Try to keep your gloves on when sending messages with your inReach Explorer®+ device or GPSMAP® 66i/GPSMAP 86i handheld. If you own an inReach Mini and pair it to your cellphone, carry a small touchscreen stylus on a lanyard around your neck so you can tap out a message without taking your gloves off. It only takes a few seconds to get cold fingers and lose the necessary dexterity to use your equipment.
  1. Take advantage of preset and quick text messages to save time, keep moving and stay warm in the winter. You can quickly send an “I’m checking in” preset message to friends and family, or reply to a message with a “Yes,” “No” or “Wish you were here” quick text.
  1. Carry the inReach device with you to have access to satellite weather forecasts anywhere in the world. Check for clear skies or approaching storms to make informed decisions about whether to start your activity or wait it out.
  1. If snow covers the trail, or if you encounter blizzard conditions or simply get lost, use the TracBack® feature on your device to navigate back to where you first started tracking.
  1. Spend less time dealing with your equipment in cold temperatures by pairing your phone to the Earthmate® or Garmin Explore™ app or your compatible Garmin wearable, prior to beginning your activity.
  1. For multiday trips, put your device in Extended Tracking or Expedition mode to extend the battery life. Or consider carrying a backup lithium battery pack for your device.
  1. If an emergency situation does occur, don’t hesitate to trigger an SOS for yourself, a party member or a third-party individual. In cold weather, every moment counts. Once an SOS is triggered, staff at GEOS, the Garmin-powered International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), will immediately begin coordinating a rescue response.

NOTICE: To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

30. November 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho Parks & Recreation Grants – GUIDE 2021 · Categories: Education



19. November 2020 · Comments Off on PBS – Glaciers of the Winds · Categories: Education

Watch video

11. November 2020 · Comments Off on Stock Packing – 4 interesting links · Categories: Education



Packing lumber out of the Carroll Creek Pack Station



07. November 2020 · Comments Off on Which inReach Device Is Right for You? · Categories: Education

The inReach product line is growing! Join us at 3:30 p.m. ET, Nov. 19, for a live inReach webinar featuring Chip Noble, senior product manager at Garmin. We’ll review the features and functionalities of each inReach device as well as what types of activities each device is best suited for. As always, we’ll save time for your questions.


Miss a previous newsletter? Here are some of the recent stories we shared:


Read more about exploring the outdoors on the Garmin blog.


04. November 2020 · Comments Off on BCHA Webinars – November 10 – 12, 2020 (FREE) · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Education


BCHA Youth Program Video

28. October 2020 · Comments Off on One Moving Part: The Forest Service Ax Manual · Categories: Education

Beckley, B. 2019. One Moving Part: The Forest Service Ax Manual. 1823 2812P. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Technology and Development Program. 234 p.

This manual provides information about different types of axes and their historic and current usage in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Subjects covered include the anatomy of an ax, types of axes and related tools, selecting the right ax for you, the art of filing, sharpening an ax head, restoring or replacing an ax handle, using an ax, maintaining an ax, and purchasing an ax. The manual also includes a list of resources and information about ax manufacturers and suppliers.

PDF: One Moving Part – Axe Manual

23. October 2020 · Comments Off on A Worthy Refresher: Mountain Lions · Categories: Education

Mountain lions are having quite the news year in 2020. From a mountain lion kitten called Captain Cal being rescued by a firefighter in the Zogg fire to the 6-minute dramatic saga of a trail runner in Utah encountering a mountain lion family on a trail (NSFW: the link to original video contains profanity), it’s a solid reminder that chances are you live, visit, or recreate somewhere in their habitat.
In case you missed it, the Utah trail runner first came across the kittens (or cubs) and was immediately met by the mother mountain lion who instictively became assertive and aggressive in order to put some distance between her kittens and this present “danger” (the trail runner).
While this story ends well for all (the trail runner is ok and the mother mountain lion will be left alone), it’s a great time to brush up on how to recreate responsibly in mountain lion country and what to do if you encounter one of these magical creatures. If hiking with small children or pets be sure to keep them close to you. If you see a mountain lion – pick them up or call them over next to you.
1. Make and maintain eye contact.
2. Try to look larger. Hold your bag or jacket over your head and wave your arms slowly) – don’t crouch or bend over.
3. Speak loudly and back away slowly. 
4. Hold your ground. If the mountain lion approaches you, hold your ground, look intimidating, and throw things (rocks, branches, or other things you can reach without bending over) toward, not at, the mountain lion.
5. Escalation. If the mountain lion continues to approach escalate the hostility and throw things directly at the mountain lion.
6. If a mountain lion attacks. When in this position, do everything in your power to fight back! (Also seriously consider buying a lottery ticket as it’s statistically way more likely that you’ll win a lottery jackpot (1 in about 3 million odds) than get attacked by a mountain lion (1 in a billion+ odds)). 

Mountain lions can be found in the western United States but their populations have decreased significantly from historical numbers due to hunting and habitat loss. While most people will likely never be lucky enough to see one while visiting wilderness areas, never forget we’re vistors in their home. Know before you go, review what to do in case you encounter one, and enjoy your time outside. (Photo credit: USFS)

18. October 2020 · Comments Off on LNT – For Stock Users · Categories: Education

Leave No Trace Stock Users Education Program

Leave No Trace (LNT) was created by the US Forest Service in the 1960’s, when recreation on public lands increased significantly, with a corresponding level of damage to those wild places.  Then in the early 1990s, the Forest Service worked with the National Outdoor Leadership School to develop hands-on, science-based minimum impact education for non-motorized recreational activities.To educate, encourage, and solicit active participation in the wise and sustaining use of the back country resources by horsemen and the general public.

This statement is the basis for the BCHA LNT Stock Users Education Program. The BCHA Board has directed that we become the primary trainer of stock users in LNT principles and practices nationally. To that end the LNT Master’s Education Program was established. The program is a partnership between BCHA, State and Affiliate Members, the US Forest Service and LNT Inc.

BCHA coordinates, manages and monitors the program in cooperation with State and Affiliate memberships. Qualified BCH members are selected to become LNT Master Educators.

The students are taught and teach the LNT Principles and Practices outlined in the LNT Master Educators Handbook. Upon completion of the course the Master Educators teach Train the Trainer courses in cooperation with the local BCH units. The LNT Trainers then put on LNT Awareness Workshops. Twenty of our state and affiliate memberships have already had a member attend the Master Educator Course.

BCH of California Takes the Lead with Leave No Trace Stock Use Education

Back Country Horsemen of California (BCHC) is being nationally recognized for our leadership in Leave No Trace education of stock use. In 2015 they were awarded the contract to provide the only Leave No Trace Stock Master Educator course in the country. BCHC earned this remarkable opportunity through hard work, sustained effort in promoting environmental friendly land use with stock. The classes will be taught by BCHC’s Wilderness Riders and Master Educators of LNT.

Back Country Horsemen of California provides the “Leave No Trace” Stock Course regularly every April, it is switched from Northern California to Southern California each year as well as offering additional classes as the needed. For details on the BCHC 2018 LNT Master Class you’ll find it here. They also can provide a Team of Instructors to travel to your State under special arrangements. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, contact Back Country Horsemen of California through their website, or contact Stacy Kuhns

The focus of our training and education activities are the seven LNT Principles:

  1. Plan and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Leave No Trace for Horsemen Video

On December 31, 1863, Owyhee County became the first county organized by the Idaho Territorial Legislature. While Boise, Idaho, Nez Perce and Shoshone counties were organized under the laws of Washington Territory, they were not recognized by the Idaho Territory until February 1864. The original county seat at Ruby City was moved to nearby Silver City in 1867.

The name, Owyhee, comes from early fur trappers. In 1819, three natives from Hawaii, part of Donald McKenzie’s fur-trapping expedition, were sent to trap a large stream that emptied into the Snake River. When they did not return, McKenzie investigated and found one man murdered in camp and no sign of the others. The stream was named in their honor. “Owyhee” is an early spelling for the word Hawaii. The Oregon Trail, the earliest road in the area, was used by emigrants for over 30 years on their long trip to the Oregon country. The part of the Trail in Owyhee County was known as the South Alternate Route or “dry route”. The Owyhee road was shorter but much harder than the main trail. Gold was discovered in rich placer deposits in the Owyhee Mountains in May, 1863. A search for the source of the gold led to quartz ledges on War Eagle Mountain. Before the fall of 1863 several hard rock mines were being developed. Three towns grew to supply the miner’s needs. Booneville, Ruby City and Silver City were the first three settlements in the county. Only Silver City still stands, its well-preserved buildings a silent testimonial to the lively mining days. The beautiful ruby silver ore and the wealth of gold taken from the mountains made the mining district world famous. While Ruby City was named the first county seat, its population and businesses soon moved to a better location two miles upstream on February 1, 1867. Silver City was closer to most of the mining operations and had a better winter location. In 1934, after the decline of mining, the county government was moved to Murphy, more central to the livestock and agricultural sections of the country.   READ MORE                    MORE History

On Sunday October 11, 2020 12 members and guest of the Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho meet at the Diamond Basin parking lot and corrals, south of Murphy, ID.

This area is popular with a number of outdoor groups and users. During the day we meet a Jeep club, dirt bike riders, mountain bikers, 4-wheelers and of course horse back riders. All were courteous and no conflicts arose. This country is cross-crossed with dirt roads and single track trails and most of it is BLM managed land with a number of private in-holdings.

At a lunch break at a small cabin with water for horses, we met up with a jeep club. They were working on one of the Jeeps which had ingested some water at the creek crossing. We followed them as they left watching them do their best to roll over on some sections of the road they were following.  The  group  rode  a bit  over  10  miles  and  were  back  at  the  trailers  by  16:00  Great  day  had  by  all!

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.

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