Priority Areas

Please check back for additional information and updates on each priority area.

  1. Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex & Adjacent Lands
  2. Methow Valley Ranger District
  3. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area/Eagle Cap Wilderness
  4. Central Idaho Complex
  5. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  6. Wyoming “Forest Gateway Communities”
  7. Northern California Wilderness Areas: Marble Mountain & Trinity Alps
  8. Angeles National Forest
  9. Greater Prescott Trail System
  10. Sedona Red Rock Ranger District Trail System
  11. Colorado Fourteeners
  12. Superior National Forest Trails
  13. White Mountain National Forest Partner Complex: “200 Years of Community Trail Stewardship”
  14. Southern Appalachians Capacity Enhancement Model
  15. Iditarod National Historic Trail “Southern Trek”

LINK TO FORM

FSM 7710 Summary for Comment.pdf

FSM 7700 Summary for Comment.pdf

FSM 7700 Zero Code Definitions to CARA.pdf

FSM 7710 Travel Planning to CARA.pdf

Frankly Speaking Summer 2020

LINK TO PDF

 

10. July 2020 · Comments Off on PNF – Twenty Mile Lakes project · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

On Tuesday afternoon July 7th Tom Zahradnicek, Mike & Karen Heilman and Rob Adams meet at the 20 mile creek trail head on the east end of upper Payette lake north east of McCall. The purpose of this project was to work on clearing the down fall on the trail that climbs to five mountain lakes that branches off trail 085. We were joined by Adam Larson from the McCall ranger district. Also working the trail out of this trail head were members of the Montana Conservation Corps that were working on the lower trail for the next 14 days.

Due to covid-19 we planned to not do group food, but Tom had just come back from the coast with a cooler full of fresh dungeness crab which he generously shared with the group, this is ruffing it!

The plan was to meet Adam at the trail head at 08:00 Wednesday with the stock all saddled and packed and be on the trail by 08:30. We all know that this NEVER happens, but on this day it did! While Karen stayed with their dog the four of us headed up the trail. After scouting the lower trail, Mike turned back to get Karen to go on a ride and Tom, Adam and Rob continued to the cut-off for the lakes trail.

The minute we turned on that trail we encountered the first of over 50 downed trees that we removed during the 10 hours we were on the trail

We rode out dead tired but completed the project and had a great time doing it!

Details: Min Alt 5,731  Max Alt 7,716   Miles on the trail 12   Time on the trail 9:48

From: Blake, Jennifer B -FS <jennifer.b.blake@usda.gov>

Squaw Butte members
Thanks so much for the work you and your crew did on the Twenty Mile Trail on the McCall Ranger District. This is a beautiful and high use area and your work will enable hundreds of people to enjoy this area. We certainly could not keep up with all the work without your help.

Thanks, Jenni Blake

30. June 2020 · Comments Off on Trail between Stanley and Redfish Lake is in the right place · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

In March 2019, I retired after a 30-year career as a backcountry recreation manager for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. In that position, I helped design and lay out many trails including, as my last major trails project, the Galena Summer Trails Network at Galena Lodge.

Based on that experience, I can guarantee that no competent trails designer and few incompetent ones would even consider the trail location along State Highway 75 proposed by Mr. David Boren in the June 14 article in the Idaho Statesman.

In 2005, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area purchased a trail easement across private land now owned by Mr. Boren in the location determined to provide the best recreation opportunity, emphasizing the world-class views of the Sawtooths and ease of trail construction. The trail on the easement is vastly preferable for recreationists who can enjoy the views of the Sawtooths for the entire length of this section of the trail rather than just a short portion of the Boren proposal.

The recreation opportunity provided by the highway trail would not even resemble a desirable experience, and construction of a trail on the extremely steep loose slopes above the highway is impractical in the extreme. The problems with the highway trail, for both construction and experiential reasons are too numerous to mention in the space I have here, but I would eagerly walk both routes with anyone who would like to discuss them.

As to the easement trail’s effects on sandhill crane nesting, the bench is not nesting habitat. Sandhill cranes prefer to nest in riparian areas, not open sagebrush areas. And while elk do use the bench, they are active in the early morning and late evening when use of the trail would be minimal.

The idea that Mr. Boren is concerned about the view of the Sawtooths is a bit confusing, considering that he is building a monster house directly front and center of that view. The few people who get married at the Sawtooth Meditation Chapel and would see the trail, as pointed out by Mr. Boren, pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands who will have their view marred by his mansion. And I will point out that the land in the foreground of the chapel slopes away from the building and recedes from view quite quickly. And if Mr. Boren does really care about the view, how hard did he try to convince his brother to not build his own mansion, again, front and center of the view of the Sawtooths?

Mr. Boren’s excitement for the view of the Sawtooths that he felt as a child is exactly why the Forest Service is building the trail on the easement, not along the highway. I believe in the power of landscape to inspire people. To spend time immersed in awe can be transformative. I experienced it and over the course of my career in the Sawtooths I had contact with many many others who did, as well. That opportunity for awe is ever-present on the easement trail and is woefully absent from the highway trail.

There is wealth in this landscape. Not wealth that can be measured in dollars and cents, but wealth that fills people’s souls and moves them to greater heights. Science increasingly documents this, and the easement trail provides it; the highway trail decidedly does not. The American people paid for the right to build this trail where it provides the most benefit. Let’s not allow the wealth of “a Boise tech company success story” to deny them that.

Ed Cannady retired last year after working for the U.S. Forest Service for 30 years, many of them as backcountry manager for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
21. June 2020 · Comments Off on Trail Project – Hitt Mountain – Payette National Forest · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Nine members of Squaw Butte met at the Hitt Mountain Trail Head on Saturday morning June 20, 2020. This trail head is about 15 miles south west of Cambridge Idaho on the Idaho side of Hell’s Canyon. The purpose of this project was to do trail maintenance on a number of trails out of this trail head. Some of the members arrived on Friday and took a quick ride and discovered that the Morel’s were up and on this weekend after all the rain, big and plentiful.  So morel hunting became the focus if there were no down trees in the way
How to Safely Identify and Harvest Morels
How to Preserve Morel Mushrooms

The trails we worked are highlighted in yellow.  The total distance of this loop is 11.2 miles with a 4000 foot elevation change.  The highlights of this ride are the great views, wild flowers, stream crossings and the fire lookout!  We remove five trees during our ride and found more morel’s.

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

EPSON MFP image

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

WATCH VIDEO

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

Click on Picture or HERE to read

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

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

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

21. May 2020 · Comments Off on Mountain Manners – A guide to stock use in the back country · Categories: Education, Horse Camping, Public Lands


Mountain Manner Handbook
Stock-Use-JHA

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

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

16. May 2020 · Comments Off on Public Lands – Boundary Water Wilderness · Categories: Public Lands

Read Story

 

03. May 2020 · Comments Off on Interactive BNF Closures Map · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

For the latest Boise National Forest updates visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/boise/home

For all Boise NF closure information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices

Boise National Forest interactive closure story map: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=1b9f2d8115374ad3a943d95decd3835d

National Forests in Idaho closure story map: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=d0588d7e48ee430da80c5ad88c48b43d

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

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

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

History of Gem’s wild horses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. March 2020 · Comments Off on American Trails – Postings March 2020 · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Read More

Read More

09. March 2020 · Comments Off on Public Lands – Sustainable Trail System · Categories: Public Lands

overview-national-trail-strategy

10YTCOverview-508                                 10YTCLaunchLearn-508

19. February 2020 · Comments Off on HR 5797- Immediate Action Needed by All Trail Enthusiasts! · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

READ MORE

15. February 2020 · Comments Off on Field Notes 02/14/2020 – National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Hike the Hill

This week was the annual gathering of the national scenic and historic trail community in DC to educate Congress, meet with agencies, and build support for trails.  NWSA was there along with Back Country Horsemen and other Wilderness groups to lend our voice and to expand opportunities for wilderness stewardship.

We are happy to report that the Forest Service Chief took this opportunity to express her full support for Shared Stewardship and to renew the NFS Trail Stewardship Partner funding for $200,000 in 2020.  Find more details here.

This is in addition to the $200,000 already secured for Wilderness Stewardship Performance activities.

Applications for both programs are due by March 30th.

Webinars

Tuesday, March 10 at 1:00 PM Mountain

Leave No Trace  — Refresher, Updates, Resources

Erin Collier, Brice Esplin, and Faith Overall

What’s new with Leave No Trace, and how can you incorporate the principles into your daily work?  Erin Collier & Brice Esplin, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, will provide a general Leave No Trace refresher with an emphasis on updates, research, and resources, geared toward wilderness stewardship groups and agency partners. Faith Overall, Leave No Trace’s Education and Outreach coordinator and volunteer for the Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance will also join to provide a volunteer perspective and answer questions on getting more involved.

Register Here

Wilderness Workshop Presentations and Videos

Many presentations at the Workshop are posted on the WORKSHOP PAGE .  You can also find the Program and Abstracts.  Several of the main sessions were video taped and as soon as they are available will be placed on this page as well.  The Final Plenary session and Derick Lugo’s Closing Presentation are now available online.

The 2020 Funding Program Application Periods are Open

As noted above NWSA has two funding programs for wilderness stewards.

The Wilderness Stewardship Performance Partner Funding and

The National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partner Funding.

Both application periods will end March 30, 2020.

Now is the time to renew your memberships for 2020.  WSP Funding requires a NWSA membership in order to apply.

Renew NOW

In other Member News:  Memberships will now track calendar years.  Memberships renewals for 2020 began October 1st and are good for the entire calendar year 2020.  Participate in Funding programs, get discounts to the National Wilderness Workshop and keep informed about national issues affecting wilderness stewardship.

Forest Service WSP Webinars now Posted

The latest WSP webinars are posted on Wilderness Connect.  The webinars include the Plants element and Recreation Sites element.

These webinars can be found at the link below, along with the nine other WSP elements already posted and of course the other outstanding past and planned webinars by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, and other great partners.

https://wilderness.net/practitioners/training/free-webinars/default.php

08. February 2020 · Comments Off on Idaho parks department eyes voluntary trail pass program. · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Idaho Trails Supporter Fact Sheet

Hey Folks – I have attached the fact sheet for our voluntary sticker program. The short – The voluntary sticker (or pass) is a $10 minimum donation available to the public on June 6th, National trails day. They will be primarily available online.

Thanks!

Tom Helmer
Non-Motorized Trails Program Manager
5657 Warm Springs Ave|Boise, ID 83716
tel (208) 514-2419 | mobile (208) 914-4821

**************************************************************************************
February 07, 2020
BOISE, Idaho

The director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation said Friday that his agency is starting a voluntary trail pass program as part of a long-range goal to raise awareness and eventually money for non-motorized trail maintenance.

David Langhorst told the Legislature’s budget-setting committee that interest in the 900-mile (1,450-kilometer) Idaho Centennial Trail has been growing.

He said motorized trail groups have been effective in persuading lawmakers to tax or place fees on those user groups for trail maintenance.

But he said non-motorized trail users have been somewhat resistant to those kinds of user fees. He said the voluntary trail pass could help change minds.

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article240081138.html#storylink=cpy
04. February 2020 · Comments Off on IWF – Sportsman Legislative Voting Record · Categories: Education, Public Lands

READ MORE

04. February 2020 · Comments Off on Wilderness Alliance – Managing for Multiple Mandates · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Link to full webinar

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

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

Can you imagine?

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

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

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

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

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

And we support their efforts…

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

I hope you enjoy the video.

All the best,  Sally   Selwaybitterroot.org

14. January 2020 · Comments Off on Wilderness Connect For Practitioners · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Traditional Tools & Skills

Information provided in this toolbox is intended to support the use of Traditional Tools and Skills for administrative activities in wilderness. A process for determining the minimum requirement and minimum tool is described and information and training resources are provided. The toolbox features sections on common traditional tools (i.e. saws, axes, rigging, grip hoists, rock tools, etc.), travel methods (i.e. livestock, watercraft, sled dogs, etc.), and project examples (i.e. trails, weeds, etc.). To suggest new materials for inclusion, email Lisa Ronald at lisa@wilderness.net. Date of last update: 11/26/2018.

Introduction

Overview

The use of traditional tools and skills (TTS) for necessary administrative activities in wilderness is a basic principle of wilderness stewardship. The basis for this principle is found in the Wilderness Act itself and implemented through agency regulations and policy. The use of TTS or non-motorized tools and methods is directly related to both the purpose and the definition of wilderness as described in the Wilderness Act and agency policy.

Information provided in this toolbox is intended to support the use of TTS for administrative activities in wilderness. The use of TTS is mandated by both the Wilderness Act and agency policy and exceptions are made only when the use of motorized equipment or other prohibited uses are screened through narrow criteria. Comfort, convenience, economic efficiency, and commercial value are not standards of management in wilderness or criteria that are used to screen proposals to use something other than TTS. Assumptions about the use of TTS are often not true and can be overcome. Additional information and a process for making decisions related to use of TTS skills is contained in the Minimum Requirements Decision Guide.

Training and Information Contacts

  • FS Regional Trainers and Information Contacts
  • Ninemile Wildlands Training Center
  • Missoula Technology Development Center Publications
  • Student Conservation Association Traditional Skills Training
  • Lightly on the Land-SCA Trails Manual
  • Volunteer and Partner Training sources
  • FS Regional Blasters Contact List
  • BWCAW Trail and Campsite Maintenance Guide
14. January 2020 · Comments Off on Wild Spotter – Mapping Invasive Species · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands


You can help fight back against invasive species in America’s wild places by downloading the FREE Wild Spotter Mobile App on your smartphone or other mobile device. You’ll learn how to identify, map, and prevent the spread of these invaders in order to protect our rivers, mountains, forests, and all wild places for future generations. Learn more by watching the Wild Spotter Introduction Video.

Volunteers are a vital part of the Wild Spotter campaign! To become a volunteer, register either online or download the FREE Wild Spotter Mobile App on your smartphone or other mobile device. Once registered, reach out to your nearest National Forest or Grassland to discover how you can volunteer to help support and protect these beautiful places from invasive species. Then, just get outside and enjoy America’s wild places while keeping an eye out for those harmful invaders!  https://wildspotter.org/

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

About the Bridger Wilderness

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

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

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

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

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

bridger_wilderness_cover_letter_for_group_permits

07. January 2020 · Comments Off on National Crosscut & Chainsaw Program – New Website Active · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Happy New Year! Wanted to make sure you were aware the Forest Service’s National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program webpage is live.  It should hopefully provide a site for you to get all the FS saw information consolidated such as FS Saw Policy, PPE requirements, complexity charts, and the 5 step cutting process.  The new curriculum will be posted here once it becomes finalized.  I look forward to a great 2020 season and hope to see you all at some point this year.  Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.  Brian Burbridge, Region 4 Saw Program Manager brian.burbridge@usda.gov

Please share widely. If you have comments on the page, please send them to National Saw Program Manager Pete Duncan at pete.duncan@usda.gov

https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/trails/trail-management-tools/national-saw-program

National Saw Program Technical Advisory Group (SPTAG)

The SPTAG is made up of national and regional saw program managers as well as other subject matter experts who provide guidance for consistent implementation of the National Saw Program.

National and regional saw program managers contact information…

Sawyer Training

New crosscut and chainsaw training modules will be available soon. The module-based training focuses on “Developing a Thinking Sawyer” and emphasizes risk management, human factors, and sawyer safety. Forest Service sawyers can still attend approved training courses until the new program is finalized.

Contact your local unit saw program for training opportunities. National and regional training workshop announcements will be added to this page. Check back for updates!

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing the proper PPE is critical when operating a chainsaw or crosscut saw. Follow these guidelines for required PPE when using a saw…

Sawyer Certification Levels

Forest Service employees, volunteers, partners, and cooperators can obtain 4 levels of certification for chainsaw and crosscut saw operation under the new saw policy:

  1. Sawyer trainee
  2. A Sawyer
  3. B Sawyer
  4. C Sawyer

Related Reference Materials

Have a question?

Contact the Forest Service Saw Program at sm.fs.fssawprogram@usda.gov.

06. January 2020 · Comments Off on SRA – IDPR Grants for 2021- Need support · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

January 6, 2020

By Kent May – Trails Supervisor Sawtooth National Recreation Area

For 2021 RTP we are replacing two log boardwalks/puncheon, and removing two others on the Livingston Mill trail (pics attached). The two that are removed, will have the stream crossing hardened with rock to prevent erosion. On top of the infrastructure work, we will be doing 90 miles of heavy maintenance to trails in and accessing the White Clouds Wilderness.

  

Replace these

   

Remove these and harden trail

For 2021 ORMV we are building 25’ of puncheon over a perennial stream on Grand Prize motorized single track trail (pic attached). For this grant there will also be a maintenance component of 100 miles of heavy maintenance to motorized trails, paying special attention to the Grand Prize trail to prevent any motorized encroachment into the Boulder Wilderness.

We are looking for support letters for our 2021 IDPR Grants

25. December 2019 · Comments Off on Wilderness Volunteers – Blog · Categories: Public Lands

Equipment Spotlight: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Watertight PRO

Over the last 19 years I’ve led nearly 40 week-long service projects with Wilderness Volunteers in public lands all over the United States. I’ve used a number of different first aid kits to deal with scrapes, cuts, blisters, etc. over this time but hands down my current favorite is the Ultralight Watertight PRO from Adventure Medical Kits.
The exterior yellow rip-stop nylon zippered bag helps keep the contents dry even when working in rainy and wet conditions. The interior bags (3 Super stretch DryFlex™ bags and 1 smaller rip-stop nylon bag) make doubly sure the kit contents stay dry while still being lightweight (~⅓-½ oz), and durable. (Having opened up kits before for a bandage only to find the paper soaked I can’t say how much I appreciate medical kits that keep the insides dry even when your backpack gets wet.)

Keep It Clean: On The Importance of Cleaning Your Gear

One of the most important (and likely most forgotten) parts of being a responsible outdoor adventurer is cleaning your gear before and after each adventure.

While exploring our nation’s wild lands helps us gain appreciation for them it can also put them in added danger. Invasive weeds, insects, and diseases can be introduced to new areas via shoes, clothing, camping gear, boats, vehicles, firewood, etc.

INTERN BLOG SERIES: A Necessity Not My Own

BY ALIX SCHOBACK // 2019 WILDERNESS VOLUNTEERS INTERN

“So you’re paying an organization to go do manual labor for a week? Shouldn’t they be paying you?” 

The words of my grandpa, who had been fairly confused about my summer internship with Wilderness Volunteers, echoed in my head. I sat on a rock beside the trail we were working on in the Sawtooth Wilderness; we were three miles from our destination of the wilderness boundary, and 5 miles from our camp at McGown Lakes. I looked out at the mountainside across from me, littered with dead trees — some strewn across the ground, some still upright — from a ten-year-old burn. My tool of choice for the day, a grubhoe, lay at my feet. 

It was the fourth day of our project, and I had already hiked nearly forty miles. In all honesty, I was exhausted. Consequently, I was frustrated with myself. This was supposed to be what I loved, what I cared about — work I considered to be of the utmost importance. Still, for a second, my grandpa’s words resonated with me. I felt the slightest sense of injustice, then shame for allowing the emotion to even enter my head.

13. December 2019 · Comments Off on 2019 ITA Wrap-Up · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Click on each section to read the complete story

13. December 2019 · Comments Off on Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission 
2019-IRRC-Annual-Report

13. December 2019 · Comments Off on SBFC Fall Newsletter 2019 · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Click to View Newsletter Link to Website

01. December 2019 · Comments Off on E-Bikes welcome on ‘motorized use’ Forest Service trails, roads · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

11. November 2019 · Comments Off on Back Country Goat Packing · Categories: Public Lands

Back Country Goat Packing

11. November 2019 · Comments Off on Owyhee Canyonlands – Oregon · Categories: Public Lands

05. November 2019 · Comments Off on Boise and Payette National Forests begin Christmas tree permit · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Boise National Forest; 1249 S. Vinnell Way, Suite 200; Boise, Idaho 83709
(208) 373-4100     https://www.fs.usda.gov/boise
Contact: Linda Steinhaus     Phone: (208) 373-4106

Boise and Payette National Forests begin Christmas tree permit sales Nov. 23

Boise, Idaho November 1, 2019 –The Boise and Payette National Forest (NF) vendors will begin selling Christmas tree permits Saturday, Nov. 23. On Monday, Nov. 25, permits will be available at Boise and Payette NF District Offices and the Interagency Visitor’s Information Center located at 1387 South Vinnell Way in Boise, 83709. All tree permits are valid to Dec. 25.

Each permit allows one tree to be cut, with a limit of three permits per family. For both Forests, the cost of a permit for one tree is $10. The maximum height of a permitted tree is 12 feet. Permits are valid on both the Payette and Boise NFs. Forest offices will provide information about where a Christmas tree may be harvested, restrictions and helpful tips. A Christmas tree permit is for personal use only and the use of permits for commercial use is prohibited. Permits are not refundable for any reason. Purchaser must be at least 18 years in age.

In coordination with the “Every Kid Outdoors” program, fourth-graders who are participating in the program can receive a free Christmas tree Permit. The U.S. Forest Service is among several federal agencies that support the Every Kid Outdoors initiative which is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. The initiative provides a free pass to all fourth-grade students by going to: https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm. Complete the voucher, print it and bring it to the Forest Service office.

To receive a free Christmas tree permit, the fourth-grader and a parent must go to a Forest Service office in person with the “voucher” they received from the online website at: https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm

 Commercial vendors will not be issuing a free Christmas tree permit to participants of the Every Kid Outdoors program, and free Christmas tree permits cannot be sent through the mail or electronically.

Participation in the Every Kid Outdoors program also offers benefits at National Parks and on other public lands and facilities across the United States.

“Harvesting a Christmas tree is a fun adventure and often a traditional family event,” said Ruth Rieper, Boise NF Tree Coordinator. “Please review the Christmas tree brochure and map for optimal areas.”

If an unusually heavy snowfall occurs in southwest Idaho, and forest roads become a safety concern for the public, some areas may be closed early to Christmas tree gathering. Forest roads are not plowed. Call ahead and check websites for road conditions before heading out. Please do not block private or county roadways at any time. For further information call the Boise NF at: 208-373-4007 and check out our website for updates and closures at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices.

To provide for family safety, officials advise a few simple guidelines:

  • Use the brochure with instructions provided.
  • Practice winter survival and driving techniques.
  • Bring the right tools, such as a saw and a shovel, so the tree can be cut to within 6” of the ground’s surface.
  • Take along emergency equipment, plenty of food and water, and try to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are planning to travel in snow country.
  • Always inform neighbors and family friends of the route you intend to take, include a map of your destination, and the time that you plan to be gone.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of a long hike or snowmobile ride while searching for the perfect tree.
  • According to Idaho state law, any vehicle carrying a load that extends more than 4 feet past the tailgate, must display a red or florescent orange flag tied on the end of the load to caution other drivers.

The Idaho City Ranger District 208-392-6681

3833 Highway 21; Idaho City, ID  Hours: M-F 8 a.m– 4:30p.m

Idaho City may or may not be open on weekends. Please call ahead.

 Lowman Ranger District 208-259-3361

7359 Highway 21;  Lowman, ID 83637

Hours: M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Emmett Ranger District 208-365-7000

1857 Highway 16, Suite A;  Emmett, ID 83617

Hours: M-F 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Cascade Ranger District 208-382-7400

540 North Main Street;  Cascade, ID 83611

Hours: M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Mountain Home Ranger District 208-587-7961

3080 Industrial Way;  Mountain Home, ID   83647

Hours: M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

25. October 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA Alert: Motorized Electric Bikes Off Non-motorized Trails · Categories: BCHI /BCHA, Public Lands

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Key points about electric motorized bikes

America’s backcountry should not be motorized.

E-bikes do have a place on public lands – they should be allowed in places designated for motorized vehicles.

The bicycle industry should not be dictating policy about how our public lands are managed. There is a public procedure for travel management policy on these lands.

As outdoor recreation in general becomes increasingly motorized, trails reserved for non-motorized use become even more vital to the millions who prefer travel by foot, cross country skis, horseback or traditional mountain bikes on our shared public lands.

Motorized bikes will disturb wildlife deeper into their backcountry habitat.

“Non-motorized” means no motors. So allowing any motorized vehicles onto non-motorized trails violates that principle, and it would signal the beginning of the end for non-motorized trails on our wild lands.

Any kind of electric bikes on non-motorized trails would undermine nearly a half century of policy and practices. It would be unmanageable and send federal land agencies down a slippery slope toward further motorization of our trails and backcountry.

The agencies that manage our national lands do not have the resources to monitor or police e-bikes on trails.

Like many other groups that care about trails on our public lands, we strongly oppose any effort to change existing trail management rules or policies and encourage all federal land management agencies to reject any effort to open non-motorized trails to e-bikes or other motorized vehicles.
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Subject: California Groups Sue to Keep Motorized Electric Bikes Off Non-motorized Trails in Tahoe National Forest

We’re a plaintiff here. Our statement is below, which highlights the California partners in the suit.  Press statement below, talking points attached as a heads up.  Thanks Alison Flint, Michael Carroll et al for the heavy lifting.

Michael Reinemer

Deputy Director, Communications Strategy

1615 M Street N.W. Washington DC  20036

202-429-3949 | cell 703-966-9574

The Wilderness Society The Wilderness Society Action Fund

California Groups Sue to Keep Motorized Electric Bikes Off Non-motorized Trails in Tahoe National Forest

Dramatic change in trail policy was made without public input

SACRAMENTO, October 23, 2019 – Backcountry trail and forest groups in California joined together in a suit filed today that challenges the U.S. Forest Service decision to allow motorized bikes to operate on non-motorized trails in the Tahoe National Forest.

Plaintiffs in the suit include the Gold Country Trails Council, Backcountry Horsemen of California, Back Country Horsemen of America, the Forest Issues Group and The Wilderness Society. The groups are represented by the Western Environmental Law Center.

Helen Harvey, President, Gold Country Trails Council, Nevada County 

“Allowing motorized bicycles on non-motorized trails meant for hikers, backpackers and equestrians poses risks and conflicts for the many visitors who enjoy that type of quiet recreation.  It also undermines the trail building and maintenance time and money our volunteers have contributed in the Tahoe National Forest for decades.”

The groups cite several violations of law and policy, including the Travel Management Rule, which confines motorized transportation to certain trails to prevent harm to nature and conflicts with other trail users. Also, the Forest Service did not assess the environmental impacts of its decision, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, one of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws.

Background
The Tahoe National Forest recently permitted “Class 1” electric mountain bikes on more than 130 miles of trails that had been developed and managed for hiking and other non-motorized uses. The Tahoe already has about 2,500 miles of trails and roads available for motorized uses.

The Tahoe’s decision undermines long-standing travel management laws and policies that help ensure higher quality recreation experiences for both motorized and non-motorized users, prevent avoidable damage to water, wildlife, and other resources, and alleviate public safety concerns and conflicts between users.

Prior to opening non-motorized trails to motorized bicycle use, the Tahoe National Forest should have followed the required travel management planning procedure, which is a public process that includes analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Sometimes called the Magna Carta of conservation law, NEPA requires environmental analysis and public participation in federal decisions that affect public lands.

Earlier this year hundreds of trail advocates and conservation groups sent a joint letter to federal land management officials opposing any effort to allow e-bikes on non-motorized trails. The letter noted that non-motorized trails were created to ensure that the public could find recreational trail opportunities free from the ever-growing motorization and mechanization of our public lands. Millions of public land users including hikers, backpackers, hunters, horse packers, climbers and mountain bikers value non-motorized trails for recreation.

Additional comments from plaintiffs

Randy Hackbarth, President, Back Country Horsemen of California, Mother Lode Unit
“We are disappointed that the rules for using trails in this wonderful natural area were changed behind closed doors without public participation. This is particularly disappointing for our members who are proud of the stewardship and care they bring to the non-motorized trails on public lands. “

Lloyd Erlandson, President, Backcountry Horsemen of California
“This move by the Forest Service would benefit the e-bike industry at the expense of the users that non-motorized trails are supposed to serve. The appeal of quiet recreation and the quality of wildlife habitat in California will suffer unless this decision is reversed.”

Darrell Wallace, Chairman, Back Country Horsemen of America
“This decision sets the stage for motorizing America’s backcountry, which violates the principles and partnerships that we have worked so hard to secure over many years. We believe there is a place for motorized bikes, but non-motorized trails – by definition — are not the right place.”

Susan Jane M. Brown, Staff Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center
“The Forest Service cannot simply disregard its own rules when it comes to allowing electric bikes on non-motorized trails on the Tahoe National Forest. With this lawsuit, we seek to compel the agency to follow those rules.”

Alison Flint, Director, Litigation & Agency Policy, The Wilderness Society
“The Tahoe’s decision violates decades of established laws and policies designed to ensure that decisions about where motorized recreation occurs on our shared public lands are subject to public input and environmental analysis. Motorized bicycles are not exempt from those requirements.”

Contacts:
Randy Rasmussen, Back Country Horsemen of America, WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org, 541-602-0713
Michael Reinemer, Wilderness Society, michael_reinemer@tws.org, 202-429-3949
Alison Flint, Director, Litigation & Agency Policy, The Wilderness Society, Alison_flint@tws.org, 303-802-1404
Sangye Ince-Johannsen, Western Environmental Law Center, sangyeij@westernlaw.org, 541-778-6626

22. October 2019 · Comments Off on US Public Land Workers Getting Assaulted, Threatened on Job · Categories: Public Lands

Federal employees overseeing U.S. public lands were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period marked by heightened tensions with anti-government groups.

  • PUBLISHED 21 OCTOBER 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal employees overseeing U.S. public lands were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period marked by heightened tensions with anti-government groups, according a Congressional watchdog agency.

The Government Accountability Office in a new report highlights anti-government tensions that at times have boiled over. That includes the six-week armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon in 2016, and other standoffs with armed protesters in Montana and Nevada.

The Associated Press obtained GAO’s report ahead of its scheduled release.

It cataloged incidents ranging from threatening phone calls to the stabbing of a Bureau of Land Management worker outside a federal building. Some of the assaults triggered FBI domestic terrorism investigations, although the precise number was not disclosed because it is considered sensitive information.

The report did not say whether rates of assaults and threats were increasing. But it noted a dwindling number of federal officers patrolling the nation’s vast forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other open spaces, which cover more than 670 million acres (1.1 million square miles) primarily in 12 western states.  Read More

03. October 2019 · Comments Off on Idaho Wildlife Federation – Public Lands Blog · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

LINK TO BLOG

19. September 2019 · Comments Off on Restore Our Parks & Public Lands · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Link to the Bill

03. August 2019 · Comments Off on Sawyer – Using & Maintaining Crosscut Saws · Categories: Education, Public Lands

Visit Dolly Chapman’s Website for lots of great information

23. July 2019 · Comments Off on Wilderness Ranger Intern – Blog Posts · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Wilderness Ranger Inter Blog Posts

Briana Bienusa- Wilderness Ranger Intern – Montana State University

Marble Creek Drainage/Salmon-Challis National Forest

Read Briana Blog

Kris Mueller, Iowa State University
Wind Lakes / Grave Peak, Nez Perce / Clearwater National Forest

Read Kris Blog

Connor White – Wilderness Ranger Intern – Appalachian State University
Big Creek Bridge / Bitterroot National Forest

Read Connor’s Blog

15. July 2019 · Comments Off on ITA – Alice Lake Packing Support · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Camping location at the Tin Cup trail headTrail to Alice Lake
July 13 & 14   Alice Lake Pack-In
July 20th   MORE PICTURES & PACK-OUT

03. July 2019 · Comments Off on IWF – July Update · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Read about this and other important issues in Idaho

19. June 2019 · Comments Off on Owyhee Canyonlands BLM Management Plan Comment Period · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

Send A Comment to the BLM

Dive deeper

This process is a key opportunity to help protect habitat of the imperiled sage grouse, determine where Off-Road Vehicles can and cannot travel, and protect wild desert places to camp, hike and bird. You can help shape how these lands will be managed for decades to come. Three main issues will be addressed in this planning process: Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Off-Road Vehicle and Travel Management and Livestock Grazing. Take a deeper dive on these issues with these useful resources from Owyhee Coalition partner, Oregon Natural Desert Association:

Other ways to make your voice heard

The comment period is open until August 28, 2019. Right now is a critical window of time to make your voice heard and ensure the BLM knows there is widespread support for strong, conservation-focused management in this landscape.

  • Attend a public meeting hosted by the BLM in Ontario, McDermitt or Jordan Valley
  • Attend a comment writing session in Portland, Bend, Ontario or Boise. Event details coming soon.
17. June 2019 · Comments Off on National Trails Day – 2019 · Categories: Public Lands

12. June 2019 · Comments Off on Twenty-Mile Creek Project · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Join Alice, Phil and Rob on a one day project near Upper Payette Lake.

02. June 2019 · Comments Off on 2019 National Trail Day – Peace Creek · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

SEE MORE

30. May 2019 · Comments Off on Sagebrush to Cheatgrass · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

It may seem, to anyone who has driven long stretches of highway across the West, that there is plenty — maybe even more than enough — sagebrush. Sagebrush once covered 250 million acres of western North America, but today that ecosystem is half the size it once was and it’s burning more frequently.

Jon Griggs has been running the Maggie Creek Ranch southwest of Elko, Nev., for almost 30 years.
In 2007, wildfire tore through thousands of acres and destroyed several ranch buildings. The wind howled. The sky was orange, and Griggs couldn’t see more than a dozen yards in front of him with all the smoke.

He kicks the dirt with his black cowboy boot. “We thought that’s not gonna happen to us. And it got us. And…” his voice catches in his throat. “I don’t like to think about that day.”

Griggs and other locals will tell you there has always been fire here, but now the fires are bigger and more frequent than anyone can remember.

In just the past two years, more than 800,000 acres of sagebrush have burned in northern Nevada. For many, the word “wildfire” brings to mind images of flaming treetops and blackened stumps. But we should actually be picturing sagebrush on fire. In the past two decades, nearly 75 percent of all acres burned in the west were rangelands — not forest. Hundreds of thousands of acres — home to rural ranching communities and endangered sage grouse — are going up in flames each year. READ MORE

24. May 2019 · Comments Off on BLM – Four Rivers Draft Resource Management Plan · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands


The Four Rivers Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement is now available for public comment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Boise District, Four Rivers Field Office (FRFO) has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft RMP/EIS) for public lands within its Planning Area. The Draft RMP/EIS describes and analyzes management alternatives for the public lands and resources managed by the FRFO and provides BLM with a comprehensive framework for administering public lands. This document also analyzes the future use and management direction of the many natural and cultural resources found in the Planning Area over the next 20 years and beyond. The Draft RMP/EIS informs the public about potential management options.

The FRFO encompasses an area located in southwestern Idaho extending north of the Snake River from approximately Glenns Ferry in the southeast, west to Weiser, and north to McCall.  The planning area includes all of the FRFO located outside the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) which is governed by a separate RMP.  The planning area encompasses approximately 783,000 surface acres and 1,173,150 acres of mineral estate in Ada, Adams, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington counties administered by the BLM.

When approved, this RMP will guide the management of public lands administered by the FRFO into the future and will replace the 1988 Cascade RMP, the 1983 Kuna Management Framework Plan (MFP) and the portion of the 1987 Jarbidge RMP covering lands within the FRFO. The BLM encourages the public to provide information and comments pertaining to the analysis presented in the Draft RMP/EIS. We are particularly interested in feedback concerning the adequacy and accuracy of the proposed alternatives, the analysis of their respective management decisions, and any new information that would help the BLM as it develops the plan. In developing the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, which is the next phase of the planning process, the decision maker may select various management decisions from each of the alternatives analyzed in the Draft RMP/EIS for the purpose of creating a management strategy that best meets the needs of the resources and values in this area under the BLM multiple use and sustained yield mandate.

For the latest information on the planning schedule, please see the timeline page.  LINK TO DRAFT PLAN

23. May 2019 · Comments Off on Volunteers making a difference – SCA · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands

Our Mission

SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

Our History

2017 marked the Student Conservation Association’s 60th Anniversary. As we look back and remember, what becomes abundantly clear is that while times change, SCA remains a stalwart presence for conservation and our country. The young people with whom we work gain an adeptness, an ability to press beyond whatever challenge comes next.

https://www.thesca.org/