29. June 2022 · Comments Off on Idaho 55 – Smith Ferry Project – June 28, 2022 · Categories: Current Events

On a crisp, late fall day last year, less than 200 feet made all the difference on Idaho Highway 55.

Just after 2 p.m. on November 18, 2021, a traffic safety vehicle guided a line of cars through the tight construction zone in the canyon alongside the picturesque Payette River. A rumbling sound rocked the air. High above the road, tons of material crashed down from the blasted cliff face and spilled across the highway.
The slide came a mere 150 feet from crushing the Traffic-Corp pilot car and any others following behind on their way through the Central Idaho artery. It took weeks for the road to reopen to traffic.

This was the second of three major landslides that closed the corridor over the course of less than a year from March of 2021 through January, disrupting traffic between the Boise area and Valley County for days at a time. The slides all occurred within the construction zone for ITD’s ambitious multi-year project to flatten the curves of the winding, crash-prone highway snaking through the canyon.

Inside this story:

18. June 2022 · Comments Off on Sawyer – Accident Report · Categories: Education, Safety

Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak_Lolo IHC Tree Strike_RLS

06. June 2022 · Comments Off on C Sawyer Recertification – very educational & challenging day · Categories: Education

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

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

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

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

RWA-2022-Sawyer Designation

05. June 2022 · Comments Off on Peace Creek – What it must be like to be in BCH in coastal Oregon · Categories: Horse Camping

The weatherman indicated it would likely be a wet weekend, better than the holiday weekend last week, but rain was likely.  Friday was cloudy but dry so travel up to the trailhead was uneventful unless you got caught in the backup caused by a multi-car wreck between Horseshoe Bend and Banks.  If you were it could add an hour or so to your travel time.  By 18:45 everyone who signed up had arrived and set up their camps.  An improvised dinner was shared and Jenelle Weeks asked if we still had a set of dominoes in one of the chapter camp boxes.  A quick search turned up a double set.

One of the tables was set-up and members gathered to play or watch.  Play continued until  it  was  getting  to  hard  to  see  the  dots  on  the  dies.  Smiles and laughter were common and all enjoy the time together.  By 21:30 the camp settled down for the night.

At 06:30 the camp started to stir. As stock were being given breakfast those who’s humans were a bit slow where protesting that they had to wait. By 07:15 the tables were filling with items for breakfast and the smell of coffee and hot chocolate filled the air. As we were washing up, a few rain drops fell so people pulled on their rain gear as they saddled up.
A short distance up the trail was a large log suspended in the air above the trail, that just lit up Charles Chick and Rob Adams eyes. What a great training opportunity! Saw gear was unloaded and PPE was put on and the log was evaluated for binds and other hazards. A cut plan was developed and Rob and Tracy Zamzow did the saw work.

The rain steadily increased throughout the day and by 12:30, four miles up the trail the team found a place to stop, have a snack and head back to the trailers.  So this is what it is like to ride alone the pacific coast!  After reaching the trailers, the group consensus was that hot showers and  our own beds were what we wanted next so we packed up and made the trek back to highway 55 and home.  All the rigs were covered with mud by the end of the drive.  The rain was a factor on this project but didn’t in any way diminish the enjoyment of the weekend.

05. June 2022 · Comments Off on June 2022 BCHA News & Updates · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

An electric bike rode into the backcountry. Now there’s a nationwide turf war

BCHA Encourages Chapters to Review USFS Memo “Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds” & Discuss with Local USFS Staff