Our Idaho Chapter was very busy preparing for the 2019 Rendezvous in Boise May 1-4th. A groundswell of volunteers stepped up to promote and coordinate numerous details leading into hosting the 8th annual event in downtown Boise.
BHA members were similarly effective at the Statehouse this recent legislative session. Most of our efforts focused on, unfortunately, submitting testimony against egregious bills that continuously came up for committee hearings. Our best efforts were in coordinating with other conservation groups to help kill an anti-public-lands (Federal Lands Council) bill and similarly awful bill to inhibit search and seizure rules for conservation officers. Ultimately, we were successful in their defeat! Additionally, chapter members tabled at the Camo at the Capital event on February 7th. The event allowed the chapter to engage with state legislators and to coordinate with various other conservation groups.
Idaho Chapter folks also worked the the Idaho Sportsman's Show in Boise that captured 70 new members. Similarly, Idaho BHA tabled at the Bighorn Sportsman's Show in Spokane in March. These events provide outreach and capacity building to help further our conservation message cooperatively with other like-minded organizations. Furthermore, it gives our chapter ample opportunity to recruit new members and volunteers and to create awareness with attending sportsmen on a host of common issues.
Likewise, our boots on the ground efforts have increased heading into spring. On April 20th and 27th, many BHA volunteers joined Idaho Fish and Game WMA staff and archery club members to build a new 3-D archery range at the Boise WMA, just outside of Boise. Members built trails throughout the course, constructed buck-rail fence around the parking area, helped install a kiosk with instructional signage and put in 20 targets supported by cement bases. Our Idaho board voted to spend $1,000 toward its construction. It's a beautiful facility and it serves a much-needed purpose in providing a challenging course attracting regional interest.
This spring the chapter hosted pint nights in Moscow, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Boise. Each event served to promote BHA outreach in a relaxed social environment across the far corners of Idaho. Besides the liquid refreshments and raffle prizes, many memberships were sold in a combined effort resulting in our chapter now surpassing 2,200 members statewide!
Our chapter leadership hosted our 3rd annual Beer-Deer-Gear event hosted at Payette Brewing in Boise May 18th. This is one of our largest fundraisers and perhaps the most fun for attendees. It's a consignment sale of lightly used outdoor gear whereby the chapter gets a percentage of each sale.
Many summer events portend a wide spectrum of volunteer opportunities. Events include Craig Mountain WMA work project May 31-June 2, the annual Northwest Mountain Challenge June 21-23rd, Salmon River weed pull (late July) and mountain lake fish stocking (August). Please check in on social media for details of these and other fun events throughout the summer.
-Jeff Barney, chapter secretary