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

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

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

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

30. April 2021 · Comments Off on SBFC – Outdoor Conversations · Categories: Public Lands

This year, SBFC is celebrating 16 years of stewarding the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness areas. Each summer we get our boots on the ground and hands in the dirt to maintain, monitor, and protect these beloved public lands.

In 2020 the Frank celebrated its 40th anniversary as a designated Wilderness area. Spanning over 2.3 million acres, the Frank is a place that is close to our hearts (and our boots!) To celebrate this wild and scenic place, we are kicking off our 2021 Outdoor Conversations speaker series with a three-part virtual series all about the Frank.  https://www.selwaybitterroot.org/outdoor-conversations-2021

APRIL 15TH 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST


APRIL 22ND 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST


APRIL 29TH 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST


26. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Annual National Board Meeting – Join Livestream on FB · Categories: BCHI /BCHA



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.

17. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – 2021 Auction (National Board Meeting) 04/19/2021 – 04/28/2021 · Categories: BCHI /BCHA





Auction Web Page

Auction Catalog

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

Back Country Horsemen of America – Guidestar Profile

Back Country Horsemen of America – Review & Ratings

16. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA – Top Trail Journeys Challange · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

Top Trail Journeys are Virtual Challenges open to all — riders and non-riders, who wish to participate with their non-motorized miles tracked via GPS app or device. Miles tracked can be ridden (horse, bicycle), on foot (hiking, jogging, walking) — you can even log your miles swimming in the pool. The objective is to get out and move — and earn a medal for your efforts.

Join the Top Trail Journeys Facebook Group to connect with other participants and share your journey with us. What’s your “why” — how is it going? We love to see the photos of your journey along the way. Do you walk, horseback ride or drive (equine), hike, bike, swim— to get outside, to stay fit, to alleviate stress, something else? Do your dogs tag along? Do you walk your horse, mule, mini, or Llama?


15. April 2021 · Comments Off on Some Favorite Stock camping locations in South Western Idaho · Categories: Horse Camping

Favorite Stock Camps in SW Idaho

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

12. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHI 2021 State & Chapter Leadership List · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

Full List PDF: 2021 BCHI State and Chapter Leadership

09. April 2021 · Comments Off on PUG – Pulaski user group – Environmental Stewardship · Categories: Public Lands

The Compassionate Leaders Program with the Flourish Foundation cleared 30 miles of trail, and hundreds of logs in the Frank Church wilderness, Sawtooth National Forest, and White Clouds Wilderness in the Summer of 2020 in partnership with PUG.

To find out more about the program visit www.flourishfoundation.org

Pulaski Users Group, Inc




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

NYT – April 7, 2021 by Ali Watkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06. April 2021 · Comments Off on 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.

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

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

April 15th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

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

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

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

April 22nd 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

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

April 29th 6:30PM – 7:30PM MST

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

RSVP  –  Sign up for one or all of the events

05. April 2021 · Comments Off on BCHA Volunteer agreement with the USFS · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

BCHA-Volunteer Activity-Abstract

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

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

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

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

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

Chief Letter draft 3.3.2021

Talking Points Against Move of Wilderness

BCHA Public Lands Meeting Notes Feb 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.