As I mentioned previously, the board set several key objectives for IOGA this year including Membership & Fundraising, Access and Trails, Improved Relations with Agency Partners and the 60th Anniversary of IOGA.

This month the subject is Access and Trails.

Access and Trails continue to be a major problem for the land base outfits.  Last year this was a key objective and will continue to be one this year.  We made progress last year working with the Back Country Horseman of Idaho and other groups when we got a Joint Memorandum passed by the Idaho Legislature to the Forest Service.  There was a letter sent to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service from the Idaho State Legislator and signed by the Governor asking them to declare the Frank Church trail system a disaster.  This did raise awareness of the problems with the Idaho Trail System and over $250,000 of additional funds were allocated to trail maintenance last year in the Frank.  In addition a Trails Working Group was formed with members from the Forest Service and user groups to find a long term solution to the problem in Idaho.  We need to continue to work this problem at both the State and National level.  Dave Melton and Tammy Overacker are driving this objective for us.

REC VP Message by J.R. Williams

There is simply nothing like summer in Idaho.  Temperatures begin to rise, the days are long, tourists abound, and all is right in the world of the outfitter/guide.  We are finally in the moment that we spend all year anticipating, preparing and dreaming about.  To be able to share this wonderful land with others is truly a gift and a responsibility that none of us take lightly.  But, as the adrenaline and anticipation of the start of the season wear thin, equipment & facilities test our patience as a result of being used part of the year, and we get busy in our day to day operations, don’t forget to take a step back every once in awhile, look around, and remember why we are here.

Hello, my name is J.R. Williams and I an your new REC V.P.  For those that don’t know me, I am part of the Diamond D Ranch family that spends our summers and falls on Loon Creek just north of Stanley.  I am excited and honored for the opportunity to serve and look forward to meeting you all.

If you remember back a few months when our president Steve addressed us at the beginning of the year, he brought up a few points that I’d like to touch on.  The first was working with our agency partners to improve relations.  Expect a session or two devoted to this topic during the December meeting, but between now and then, don’t forget to reach out to those new Rangers and agency members to start building personal relationships.  It’s simply amazing how much more someone is willing to help you if you take a little bit of time to say hello and get to know them every once in a while.  I know it takes precious time out of our day, but those few minutes just saying hello can have big paybacks down the road.

My final point and possibly the most exciting for some relates to our efforts to improve membership among guides and retain those current guide members.  IOGA has partnered up with ProMotive.com to grant Pro Deals from over 350 companies to our guide and outfitter members in a streamlined process.  As new members join IOGA, an e-mail link will be sent to the outfitter/guide inviting them to join the IOGA Team on ProMotive.com.  This process is completely free and once you create your profile, you have immediate access to great gear at heavy discounts.  Don’t worry, this will extend to those current members out there as well.  Look for your invite from ProMotive coming to your inbox soon!

Have a great summer!

Executive Director’s Message by John May

IOGA Members,

With the official start of summer now here, a good number of our outfitters are in are in full swing. Many of you have commented on bookings looking good for 2014 and hopefully that trend will continue. With the end of June comes the end of the IOGA fiscal year and I am happy to say that with all the changes that have gone on this last year we can proudly say that we will end the year in the black. I would like to thank all of you for helping us make this happen. Increased membership (both in numbers and dollar amounts), sponsorships and fund raising efforts are a big part of our increased numbers. We were able to effectively lobby for and represent our industry again this year while making large in roads into the marketing of the outfitting industry. And while this was a good start this is only the tip of what we hope to accomplish this coming year.

As the membership renewals go out this year many of you will see information about our newest guide program for the first time. This program is designed to create a cost effective way for our current outfitters to involve the future of our industry “The Guides” into the IOGA. Besides offering benefits directly to the guides we are developing a guide track program, which should allow us a way to share pertinent information and training opportunities with those guide members. Please give us a call if you should have any questions (or things you would like to see in this program) and we hope you will sign your guides up.

June also ends the Idaho Travel Council’s fiscal year, which means that the ITC Grant awards are just around the corner.  As we have talked about in recent FYI Bulletins we have big hopes that the ITC Council will award our industry with a large grant this year to help spark this years marketing efforts. The outfitting industry is big for the Idaho tourism and local economies. If you happen to see your regional representative in the next month remind them to support the IOGA.

Thanks for your time and have a great summer.

John May

Jim Thrash Knob

It has been nearly twenty years (July 6, 1994) since the tragedy on Storm King Mountain, the South Canyon Fire, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, that took the lives of smokejumper/outfitter/IOGA president, Jim Thrash and thirteen other firefighters. Recently, Holly Thrash notified IOGA that Jim Thrash Knob is officially on the latest edition of the Payette National Forest map.

In October of 2003, Holly received a letter from the U.S. Board of Geographic Names that her proposal that included IOGA support to name an unnamed summit in Idaho County Jim Thrash Knob, had been approved.  Jim Thrash Knob, elevation 7,260 feet, is located in the Payette National Forest along a ridge 1.2 miles northeast of Cottontail Point and two miles south southwest of Tomato Point near Warren, Idaho on the south side of the Main Salmon River in Fish and Game Unit 19A. This was a special place to Jim that he shared with hunt and pack trip clients and others.

Family update: Holly is presently a Support Services Specialist at the McCall Smokejumper Base and nearing retirement. Daughter Ginny, her husband Mike and daughter Evelyn  are well and thriving in Helena, MT.  Evelyn turned a year old the end of April and now that she’s a little older Ginny is getting back into her photography business, WanderingAlbatross Photography, shooting weddings and doing other commercial work. Son Nate lives and works in McCall. He works in the restaurant business as a chef. He takes full advantage of the area recreational opportunities, especially snowboarding. The family is planning an outting to Jim Thrash Knob soon.

Click here for a view of the latest map showing Jim Thrash Knob.

Fallout of H.B. 597

During the recent June Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board meeting, the board and staff discussed the potential impacts of H.B. 597 that will become law on July 1. The new law will allow private landowners to become outfitters and guides on their deeded land without having to be licensed. Presently, there are approximately 25 outfitters licensed by the IOGLB on their deeded land and it will not be known until the 2015 license year how many of these 25 will choose to remain licensed. The financial impact to the IOGLB remains to be seen. IOGLB policies on minimum amount of private land needed to outfit will no longer apply. Obviously, it remains to be seen how many private landowners will put up a shingle, construct a web site and become outfitters and guides. By the way, the IOGLB is not contemplating a fee increase!

Potential Trail Credits for Outfitters

Recently, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, R-WY, introduced the National Forest Trails Stewardship Act of which Section Seven directs the Secretary of Agriculture to initiate a pilot program to accept trail maintenance by an outfitter or guide as in-kind consideration in lieu of permit fees. This legislation has been promoted by the The Wilderness Society and the Backcountry Horsemen of America with support from many others including a number of outfitter organizations, IOGA included. IOGA. The pilot program calls for 20 administrative units to become a part of this program. The prospects for a standalone bill are tough.

A similar trails provision will likely be a part of the reauthorization of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), which has the direct attention of the outfitting industry and others. Prospects for FLREA reauthorization in the U.S House of Representatives has “legs”. The national outfitter organization, America Outdoors Association under executive director David Brown’s leadership, with support of state organizations like IOGA, is significantly involved in FLREA reauthorization which contains the authorization for the Forest Service and BLM to permit outfitters. FLREA reauthorization was the focus of the winter Camp Washington lobby efforts of the outfitting industry including participation from IOGA representatives, Louise Stark and Grant Simonds. More information should be available as summer progresses.

IOGA Member Renewals Due July 1

Membership renewal invoices were recently snail mailed. The IOGA fiscal year is July 1-June 30. We appreciate your membership and look forward to continuing to represent your interests through our government affairs monitoring, promoting your business through our website, a top notch annual meeting and more. We encourage you to continue your membership and participate in one of our dues incentive programs that will lead to reducing your IOGA dues in the future. You can also renew your membership online if there are no changes to your information.  If you have any questions, please contact Janey Bruesch at the IOGA office 208.342.1438.

Classified Ads

Horse Trail Ride Guides (Stanley, Idaho)  Applicants must be a US resident, able to lift 80 lbs or more, pass a drug test, have a driver’s license, have some horseback experience, team player and great customer service.  June 12-Labor Day.  Contact Jeff Bitton, Mystic Saddle Ranch, 208-774-3591.

Gem Air is beginning scheduled flights between Boise, Idaho and Salmon, Idaho.  In the past, we ran scheduled flights under the name of Salmon Air.  The same people who ran those scheduled flights are beginning again to offer scheduled flights!  Please visit our website or e-mail us.  We plan to grow with more flight options and more destinations. Looking forward to working with you! (Alexandra, JoAnn, Dan & David)

For Sale 2-Ton Stock Truck.1993 Ford F700. Excellent for back country roads. Great condition. $8,000 OBO. If interested please call Jeff Bitton at 208-774-3591

If you are in need of well trained individuals i.e. Packers, Guides, Wranglers or Camp Cooks, we have students ready to go to work. Contact Elm Outfitters and Guides Training Program 406.961.3603

For Sale:  Swan Falls Excursions is licensed to offer inflatable kayak adventures from Swan Falls Dam to Walters Ferry and airboat adventures from Swan Falls Dam to Brownlee Reservoir. The asking price for the business is $40,000, other offers will be considered.  Please call for additional details, 800-422-3568 / 541-785-3352.

Hunting Guides Needed  Depending on experience, position could include September through February and April through June.  Also need a couple experienced guides for 1 to 6 weeks during late September and October.  Looking for a long term commitment, archery elk hunting experience is important.  We operate in SE Idaho, Central Montana, Northern Utah and NE Washington.  Visit our website.  Contact Dale Denney or call 509-684-6294.

For Sale or Lease: We are the 100 Acre Wood Lodge in North Fork, Idaho, located on the Idaho/Montana border& only 3 miles from the Salmon River. We are pursuing a “lifestyle” change & wanted some of our contacts to know we are for sale…(or lease). We are a turnkey operation with plenty of room to expand. We also have a lake, acreage and an Outfitters License. Check out our web site, the virtual tour and details of the business and property. Jon & Nancy Cummings, 208-865-2165.

SITKA GEAR announces the Sitka Guide and Outfitter Program, open to any registered Idaho guide or outfitter looking for top-quality hunting gear. Please contact Jeff Sposito for more information.

Satellite Phone Rentals  Satmodo rents sat phones starting at $29.99/week.  Available 24/7.  Same day delivery available.  Reach us at (800) 279-2366 or via our website.

ZEISS Sports Optics announces the ZEISS Guide and Outfitter Program, open to any registered Idaho guide or outfitter looking for top-quality German optics. Please contact Barton Dobbs at 303.903.4455 or via e-mail for more information.