24. November 2019 · Comments Off on Squaw Butte Annual Food & Funds drive for People & Pets · Categories: Around The Campfire, Current Events

It is that holiday time of year when the generous members of Back Country Horsemen – Squaw Butte Chapter donate food, funds and pet supplies to local organization in Gem county.

Food & Funds will be collected at the December monthly chapter meeting Thursday December 5th, and at the Holiday Pot-Luck Saturday December 7th.

2019 Food-Pet Drive Information

21. November 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA – Members Area · Categories: BCHI /BCHA


US Forest Service Trail Fundamentals

As a BCHA member who communicates to the Forest Service on public trail issues should be familiar with the trail fundamentals that include five key concepts that are cornerstones of Forest Service trail maintenance and management, Trail Type, Trail Class, Managed Use, Designed Use, and Trail Design Parameters.

The US Forest Service provides a website with training material and documents on Trail Classification, or as it is referred to on the site is Trail Fundamentals.

This training was given to BCH members at a previous national convention, it is available for download.

Introduction to Trail Classifications, Download – PDF, and PDF1
Part 1 –Why we need to be Concerned, Download – PDF, or PPT Presentation
Part 2 – Understanding Trail Fundamentals, Download – PDF, or PPT Presentation
Part 3 – Approaches for Obtaining and Validating Data, Download – PDF, or PPT Presentation
Part 4 – Example Responses, Download – PDF, or PPT Presentation
Planning Process, Download – PPT Presentation

20. November 2019 · Comments Off on Life Flight Network – Fall 2019 · Categories: Around The Campfire

You are receiving this newsletter because you have an active Membership or have purchased a gift membership with Life Flight Network.

We know there are many reasons why you have purchased a membership and we thank you for this support. Membership not only protects you and your family members from ANY out-of-pocket expenses when transported by Life Flight Network or a reciprocal partner, it also contributes to the transport costs for patients for whom we receive little or no reimbursement. Your membership fees also support emergency medical services in your community. For instance, last year Life Flight Network provided over 300 education and safety trainings across the Northwest and Intermountain West for EMS, law enforcement, ski patrol, etc., and all was done free of charge. We want to ensure in your time of need, our EMS partners and Life Flight Network are coordinated. Together we are providing the timely and world-class care you deserve.

Are you ready for winter? Whether it’s time to stay in where it’s warm or get out in the great outdoors for some adventure, your decision to remain a member with Life Flight Network is a good one. We have you covered. Throughout 2019 we have continued to focus on the highest levels of Customer Service, Patient Care and Safety.
Life flight 2019 Fall Newsletter

17. November 2019 · Comments Off on BCHA – Trails Day Fund Raiser · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

This is a reminder that Giving TrailsDay is 12/3/19. Our goal is $5,000. Two very generous donors are matching your donation up to a combined $1,500! But why stop there? Facebook will also match up to $7 million, on a first come first serve basis, so you must make your donation on our BCHA Facebook page at 8:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 a.m. PT on 12/3/19. 100% of your donation comes to BCHA when donated through Facebook and supports our work of keeping trails open for you! Click the above dates to easily add this important date to your calendar.

And watch this fun video of the amazing work we’re doing sent in by Danny Riddle, High Desert BCH, Nevada!


11. November 2019 · Comments Off on First Idaho Trail Ride · Categories: Fun Rides

Heather Donesky
Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rob, thanks so much for being the fearless leader on our ride in the Wilson Creek area of the Owyhee’s and for bringing a horse for Elena. She had a great time and she looked pretty comfortable most of the time. Her experience out on trails is very limited. I’ve really lucked out with Natasja. She is bold, curious and unafraid of work, so she pitches in and helps me, making these adventures easier. Plus she rides very well.
Again, thanks.

Natasja (Denmark) and Elena (Spain) are high school exchange students spending a year in the Emmett area. Both are amazing young woman.

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

08. November 2019 · Comments Off on BCHI Foundation – Amazon Smiles · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

AMAZONSMILE – how to sign up (BCHI Foundation)

About AmazonSmile

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from over one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?

Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”

What charities can I choose from?

You can choose from over one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.

What if my selected charity does not register to participate in the AmazonSmile program or becomes ineligible?
If your selected charity does not register to participate, becomes ineligible, or requests to be removed from the program, you will have a chance to select a different charity to receive the accrued donations that have not yet been disbursed to your charity. If you do not select a different charity, the accrued donations will be distributed to other organizations receiving donations.
If I represent a charitable organization, how can I learn more about registering my organization for AmazonSmile?

Go to org.amazon.com to learn how to register your organization to receive donations.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?

Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.

How can I learn more about AmazonSmile?

Please see complete AmazonSmile program details.

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:


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.

02. November 2019 · Comments Off on Alert – BCHA Tahoe National Forest Lawsuit · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

As Chairman, I want to communicate directly with you about litigation that BCHA and its partners filed last week in Federal District Court in order to protect our ongoing use and enjoyment of national forest trails. BCHA rarely enters into litigation. The last time we did so was in 2006, when the US Forest Service unilaterally, and without seeking public review and comment, proposed a change in its Trail Classification Standards that would have harmed the interests of BCHA and its membership. We ended up settling that lawsuit with the agency and, remarkably, our relationship ended up stronger as a result.

Tahoe National Forest Authorization of Electric Bikes on 132 Miles of Non-Motorized Trails

On October 23rd, 2019, the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) filed a lawsuit with the Eastern California Federal District Court on behalf of BCHA, BCH California and its Mother Lode Unit, The Wilderness Society and two local organizations over the Tahoe National Forest’s stealth authorization of electric bike (e-Bike) use on 132 miles of non-motorized trails. The authorization happened early this summer and without any opportunity for public review, comment, and environmental analyses. The text of the lawsuit can be found here. For more background on this and the broader e-Bike issue, please refer to the Public Lands Report in BCHA’s Fall 2019 newsletter.

BCHA has never been quick to support litigation. It can result in strained relationships and comes with several potential downsides, including not yielding the result we might want. But in this case, members of our co-plaintiff team were consistently rebuffed by personnel from the Tahoe National Forest when we inquired about this (unannounced) change in policy. In addition, our joint “demand letter” to the Forest Supervisor, which we submitted on September 9, 2019, went unanswered. Given the magnitude of pressure being exerted by e-Bike proponents on federal land management agencies, we felt compelled to take a stand.

Objectives of the Lawsuit

Our primary objectives for filing this lawsuit were to compel the Tahoe National Forest to rescind its approval of e-Bike use on non-motorized trails, close these trails to e-Bike use, and to cease advertising the new system of trails via the forest’s website. If the agency still felt compelled to re-designate trails for e-Bike use, we would insist on a public process where all stakeholders could review and provide formal comment. We further hope the lawsuit will act to place a “freeze” on any national forest that might be poised to authorize e-Bikes on non-motorized trails in the absence of a transparent and public process.

Next Steps

WELC has yet to be notified about which judge the District Court will assign to this case. Importantly, the filing of the lawsuit should not affect your day-to-day interactions with the US Forest Service. If anything, it might serve as a feather in our cap that demonstrates to agency personnel BCHA’s commitment to, and support of, the need for a full public process when decisions are made that affect trail classification standards and trail management objectives. I would be interested to hear from you if, however, you receive any negative feedback from Forest Service personnel regarding the lawsuit. It never hurts to better understand any criticisms leveled at BCHA and our tactics in keeping pack and saddle stock trails open and enjoyable to our membership.

Should you or your chapter receive any inquiries from the press/media about this case, please convey that BCHA’s spokesperson on this issue is Randy Rasmussen, BCHA’s Director for Public Lands & Recreation (WildernessAdvisor@bcha.org). Please refrain from providing your personal opinion to the media, as BCHA wants to ensure our public message remains consistent with that of our fellow co-plaintiffs.

Working Proactively to Address Threats to Our Mission

I hope you’ll agree that by taking this action, BCHA is being proactive on behalf of our membership in order “to perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses (and mules!) in America’s backcountry and wilderness.” I believe this is yet another valuable role that BCHA serves our 31 states and nearly 200 chapters. Moreover, BCHA’s exploration and implementation of this lawsuit was done in close coordination with, and with the unanimous support of, BCH California and its Mother Lode Unit. As Chairman, it’s another example of the incredible value that is realized when all three elements—BCHA national, BCH state, and the local BCH chapter—work in unison to advance the interests of our membership.

Respectfully,  Darrell Wallace Chairman