The Black Pine Mountains in SE Idaho are often an overlooked part of the Sawtooth National Forest. However, this island of mountains has some excellent wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities. So, when some local BHA members recognized that illegal motorized use was starting to affect wildlife and hunters, they contacted the Idaho BHA leadership team to discuss ways to get involved and help out. Dan Herrig of Boise serves on the Idaho BHA leadership team and he was able to coordinate with US Forest Service staff in the Minidoka Ranger District to identify some high priority locations where barriers and signage could be installed across illegal routes.
On a hot late August weekend, a team of 10 people from Idaho BHA, the US Forest Service and Idaho Fish & Game joined forces to construct jackleg fence barriers and install signs on non-system routes (trails not open to motorized use). These barriers will help prevent illegal motorized use of trails and will encourage responsible recreation, particularly during the busy hunting season. The barriers will help to create habitat security for elk, deer and moose and deter trespass issues on neighboring private land.
As a reminder to hunters, much of the access to the National Forest in Black Pine is through private property without easements; landowners have considered closing some roads and access points due to damage to private property and illegal and unauthorized activities from the hunting public. The Forest Service and IDFG ask hunters to please respect private property! Leave gates the way you found them, use OHV’s responsibly, pick up trash, do not cut fences, take care to not damage road and trails and do not hunt on private lands without permission. Please do your part to hunt responsibly and help ensure access into the future. We want to thank the local landowners that helped with this project. Improving wildlife habitat and land stewardship is a team effort!