Our Idaho chapter has been particularly busy this summer. This August we launch our second annual Learn to Hunt class for new adult hunters. We anticipate easily filling the twenty available student slots. This five session class includes: safety, ethics, scouting, sighting in rifles, and field dressing big game. Each student will be mentored on a big game hunt.
Intrepid Idaho volunteers begin our high-mountain-lake fish stocking efforts in the McCall region this August and September. This opportunity is a cooperative effort between the McCall IDFG Hatchery and individuals wanting to help replenish backcountry lakes with trout fry to improve the fisheries of seven alpine lakes. Our chapter is working with Idaho Fish and Game toward extending this program statewide.
The BHA Public Land Owner Film Tour was held at Rivertons in Eagle, Idaho July 31st. About 65 folks attended the film tour showcasing public lands hunting, expanding our outreach to the local hunting community. Rivertons proudly continues their support of BHA and our public lands ethos. Likewise, Dan Jordan, from White Dog Brewing, served up two kegs of their finest craft brew for film tour guests, which was enjoyed immensely on a hot July evening!
August 3rd was the date for our annual Salmon River float and noxious weed pull efforts along the Challis reach. BHA staffer, Ace Hess, coordinated this event with a local boat company and regional BLM staff with the intent of reclaiming vital habitat within the Salmon River corridor by removing invasive weeds and litter.
Habitat Watch coordinator, Dan Herrig, continues coordinating volunteer efforts with USFS staff in several forests to help limit illegal motorized travel on closed roads. These efforts include constructing pole-fence barriers, with our sturdy metal signs informing forest users of the trail closure.
Recently, Idaho board members Andrew Anderson and Jeff Klausmann drafted a letter to Idaho Transportation Department officials outlining our continuing support for wildlife overpasses where appropriate. The letter outlined our science-based, best practices approach to reducing wildlife/traffic collisions and to reduce wildlife migration corridor conflicts.
Similarly, the Idaho chapter is submitting comments regarding the Four Rivers Resource Management Plan, particularly as it pertains to big game and upland game habitat considerations. This area comprises nearly 800,000 acres across southwest Idaho. In addition, IDFG is requesting comment on sage grouse management planning. Our chapter is in the process of formulation comments based on solid science supporting myriad sagebrush-steppe resources.
On July 23rd the Idaho chapter held Backcountry In the Backyard BBQ, a potluck in Boise. While this social event provided local BHA outreach, it also served to update our members about upcoming conservation events they can engage in. The BBQ allows us to reach out and communicate in person with folks wanting to learn more about our conservation projects and provides a dialogue for those wanting to become more involved. Please follow our chapter efforts through Facebook and Instagram to learn more about upcoming BHA events.