By Steve Stuebner
Jayme Moye, a widely published outdoor journalist who wrote an exposé about sexual harassment in the river-guiding industry in Colorado and inside the National Park Service, Grand Canyon District, will be the lunch speaker on Thursday, Dec. 14th, during the 63rd annual meeting of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA) in Boise.
The IOGA meeting runs from Tuesday, Dec. 12, through Thursday, Dec. 15 at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, culminating with The Thaw Fundraiser, a super-fun dinner banquet and silent/live auction on the evening of Thursday the 15th, starting at 5:30 p.m. Here’s the full agenda.
Moye’s talk will be extremely timely considering the recent spate of sexual harassment charges that have led to the firings or resignations of prominent national people such as Charlie Rose of CBS News, Matt Lauer of the Today show, Hollywood executive producer Harvey Weinstein, and Garrison Keillor, host of the Prairie Home Companion, on Minnesota Public Radio. Numerous politicians also have been called out on the issue.
“Clearly, the river-guiding industry is a male-dominated business,” says Bob Volpert, co-owner of Idaho River Journeys, based in Salmon. “Moye will speak about her investigative stories about sexual harassment in the river-guiding business on Colorado rivers and on the Grand Canyon, and I think she’ll say it’s just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s probably happening on Idaho rivers as well.”
Volpert, a member and past president of the Middle Fork Outfitters Association, and other members drafted a policy statement in November 2016 about sexual harassment in the river workplace. It provided a list of suggested guidelines for outfitters to adopt to be proactive about the issue.
“I think her talk is going to get people stirred up a little bit about the issue,” Volpert said. “Hopefully, it’ll lead to some positive discussions.”
Moye said she will take the audience through the experience of investigating sexual misconduct inside the National Park Service agency, Grand Canyon District, which led her down a path to writing about sexual discrimination in the river-guiding industry in Colorado and broader complaints from women about sexual discrimination in the outdoor industry as a whole.
Moye details different levels of sexual harassment that occurred, from unwanted sexual advances, to inappropriate language, to complaints about guides sleeping with guests during a trip, to instances where if a female guide did not consent to a lead guide’s sexual advances, she might be relegated to taking care of the portable toilet or washing dishes.
Her reporting on these stories for Men’s Journal and other publications led to significant chatter about sexual discrimination on Facebook, and she was able to find good sources from those online discussions to meet with and interview, she said.
“Now we’re seeing an extensive outcry about the whole outdoor industry,” she said. “Hopefully my articles and these discussions will be a catalyst for positive changes in the river-guiding industry and the entire outdoor industry.”
The IOGA meeting will feature a number of other presentations of interest, including an annual outfitting industry update from David Brown with the American Outdoors Association, and a presentation on how science can inform the recovery of salmon and steelhead in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.
The 2017 steelhead run is being singled out as one of the worst in the last 30 years in Idaho. As of late November, the number of steelhead passing by Lower Granite Dam was 68,000 (11,400 wild fish) as of Nov. 27, compared to a 10-year average of 165,000, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The low numbers caused IDFG to close steelhead fishing seasons statewide in the fall, and since that time, seasons have been opened on the Salmon, Snake and Clearwater rivers with smaller bag limits than normal and size limitations on the Clearwater River.
“The situation is pretty grim,” says Dr. Rick Williams, who will give an overview of the salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia and Snake River Basins. “The numbers of fish we had returning to Idaho this year were similar to the lows we had in the early 1990s, when the fish were first listed under the Endangered Species Act.”
Williams said he will emphasize the importance of preserving wild steelhead and wild chinook salmon in Idaho. “They’re the foundation for the long-term sustainability of those fish runs.”
All things being equal, research shows that even in places where the salmon and steelhead habitat is pristine, such as in the Middle Fork Salmon River drainage, those wild fish are showing the same downward trends as the other fish stocks, Williams says. “It’s the downstream mortality that’s really out of our control,” said.
As always, the IOGA annual meeting culminates in the Thaw fundraiser. A long list of silent auction items already have been donated, including outdoor gear, outdoor books and cookbooks, fishing trips, trail rides and rafting day trips, knives, bags and clothing items.
The live auction items include:
- A one-week South Africa Safari in the Limpopo Province for two hunters, $6,218 value, provided by Namzaan Safaris (namzaansafaris.com).
- A luxury two-day Fly Fishing Trip with Three Rivers Ranch in Eastern Idaho, featuring world-class options such as the Henrys Fork, South Fork Snake River or the Teton River, $5,113 value.
- Five-day Main Salmon trip on the Salmon River River of No Return wilderness section with Action Whitewater Adventures (riverguide.com), $3,380 value.
- 12-person sleigh ride in Garden Valley to feed elk during the winter of 2017-18, $250 value.
- Inflatable AIRE couch, $549 value.
- A multi-day visit to a guest ranch near Stanley in the Frank Church Wilderness, $1,000 value, or a multi-day visit to a Challis-area guest ranch, $900 value.
- Spring day trip tour of the Salmon River in a jet boat, provided by Whitewater Expeditions, $800 value. Trip will include stops to historic spots such as the Polly Bemis homestead, Shepp Ranch, Buckskin Bill’s Museum and the Painter Mine. Trip is set up for five people, but up to 20 more people could be added at list price. $800 value for five people.
- Middle Snake River day trip for five people on the Hagerman section of the Snake River with Idaho Guide Service (idahoguideservice.com)
- Breakfast backcountry flight from McCall to the Flying B Ranch on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for up to three people, $500 value
Silent auction items compiled thus far include:
|Med Frodo dry bag|
|Alaska Adventure Bag|
|Buck Knife “special” (1)|
|Charter Bus Service|
|Salmon River Country Book|
|7003 Days written by Jim Akenson|
|Sawtooth White Cloud By Nicole Lefavour|
|River Food Cookbook|
|1 ton alfalfa cubes|
|Hand Wash Station|
|River Barrel Pump|
|Hand Wash Station|
|Premium Seats at the Potato Bowl (2 tickets)|
|Beer Mugs + Beer|
|Margarita Basket set|
|Gem Air Flight|
|Hells Canyon Shuttle for 2018-one vehicle|
|1 Night Stay – Inn America|
|1 Night Stay – Red Lion Hotel|
|Fire pan bag|
|Folding Stove Bag|
|Half Day Charter Fishing for 4|
|Silverback sleeping pad|
|Cascade Roll-top Duffel dry bag 100L|
|Silverback sleeping pad|
|Cascade Siesta Pad (1)|
|Cascade Siesta Pad (2)|
|Cascade Boat Tote (1)|
|Boss Growler w/infuser (1)|
|Boss Growler w/infuser (2)|
|Payette Lake Boat Tour for 2|
|Half Day Trail Ride for 2|
|Bills 3.8 lite dry bag|
|20 lb. case wild Bristol Bay Sockeye|
|1 Night’s lodging – Springhill Suites|
|Roaring Springs Day Pass for 2|
|River Bank Toilet System|
|Full Day Rafting for 2|
|Gift Card – $50 Texas Roadhouse|
|One night stay for 2 – Wallace Inn|
|1 Hour Private Country Dance Lessons|
|Mini-golf passes (2)|
|Couples Conference Registration – Wild Sheep Foundation 2018|
|SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger|
|Cap & Bino Straps|
|Cap & Scope Protector|
|Kryptex WSF Logo Vest|
|Knife, Paklite Caper|
For more information, go to: http://ioga.org/meetings-events/