Dear Idaho Backcountry Hunters and Anglers,
Hopefully you were able to get out and enjoy some success last fall, however you measure it, and by now are planning your next adventure into the backcountry. I was fortunate to be able to spend time with my brother, son, and father-in-law hunting last fall, and the experience left me committed to working to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to share the backcountry with the people that are important to them.
As we move into a new year, I would like to review some of the Idaho Chapter’s accomplishments in 2013 and provide an update on Chapter activities planned for 2014.
Recently, Idaho Chapter officers and advisory board members met in Boise to review Chapter activities in 2013 and set a course for the Chapter in 2014. In hindsight, 2013 was the Chapter's most productive year so far! Some highlights of our accomplishments include:
- Idaho hosted the 2nd annual BHA Rendezvous in Boise, ID.
- Idaho BHA continues to have a strong voice in the Clearwater Region through its representation on the Clearwater Basin Collaborative.
- Chapter members participated with Idaho Fish and Game personnel in removing fence along elk migration corridors on the Craig Mountain Wildlife Mgt. Area.
- Idaho BHA submitted written comments on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest Plan Revision.
- Idaho BHA submitted written comments to the Federal Lands Interim Committee and testified at the Committee's hearing in Boise.
- Idaho BHA provided testimony to Idaho Fish and Game Commission on the use of "drones" for hunting in Coeur d'Alene.
- Idaho BHA hosted its 2nd annual summer get together near Pocatello in SE Idaho.
- Idaho BHA provided a scholarship for an Idaho youth to attend the Idaho Conservation Officer's Association summer camp.
- Idaho BHA was represented by Idaho member Derek Farr twice in 2013 in Washington, DC, providing education to legislators on BHA's mission and the issues important to us.
- Idaho BHA partnered with Idaho Fish and Game in a pilot project installing signage on gates promoting our Reward Program for people that report illegal OHV use on the Craig Mountain Wildlife Mgt. Area
- Idaho member Clay Hayes developed the "Backcountry College" series available on our website educating people on a variety of useful backcountry skills.
- Idaho BHA is represented on the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Plan Revision Collaborative.
- Idaho BHA continues to be a member of the Idaho Sportsman's Caucus Advisory Council, and actively commented on a number of the bills considered by the Idaho Legislature.
Our next Chapter project will be on the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area near Lewiston, ID, May 2-4. We will be sending out more information on this project and others as they get closer. Additionally, we will be sending out “Action Alerts” as the legislature considers issues that impact our hunting and fishing activities. If there are specific issues or ideas you would like to see the Chapter participate in, please contact myself or any of the other Chapter officers. The Idaho Chapter now has our own Facebook page! Information on upcoming Chapter events will be posted there as well- check it out if you haven't already at: www.facebook.com/groups/IDbackcountryhunters/.
As you can see, 2013 was a busy year for Idaho BHA, and we are committed to growing our voice and influence into the future. We will need your help to accomplish that task! To that end, each of us knows someone that should belong to BHA- friends, family members, hunting partners, neighbors, or co-workers that share our backcountry values of solitude, challenge, freedom, health, tradition, and family. Included you will find a membership application- give it to someone you know who shares our passion and encourage them to join us.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual BHA North American Rendezvous in Denver, CO, March 21-23. Hope to see you there!
As always, thanks for all you do for Idaho’s backcountry,
Tri-chair, Idaho Chapter
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers