For those of you that couldn’t attend our 60th annual meeting in Boise this year you missed a great time.  One of the highlights for me personally was Doug Tims sessions hosting some of the “Pioneers of IOGA”.  A few were outfitting before IOGA was in existence, great stories and pictures of the early days.  We also had our 60th anniversary party on Thursday night and on Friday night we had a separate party for the Thaw fund raiser.  The anniversary party was for our members and suppliers, and the Thaw focused on fundraising.  This format worked so well we will keep it for next year, more on this in John May’s piece.  One of the sessions that continue to be important for all land based outfitters is our Trails Session.  This year we had a panel of key Forest Service personal and their partners from the various forests and regions.  They presented their accomplishments from last year and expectations for next year.  The short version is that the forests reported on average that about 50% of their wilderness trails were cleared last year and expect to do about the same next year.  This is up from about 25% of the trails cleared on an annual basis a couple of years ago.  Trails were a major objective for IOGA for the past 2 years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  You will hear more on trails in the upcoming FYIs from me.

The IOGA board in their meeting voted to create a new Guide Section and created a Guide Vice President’s position for that section.  The membership voted Shane Moser into that position.  The objective of the Guide Section is to create membership value for all guides.  Read more about this in Shane’s piece.

We also had a board meeting of the INRF where their board simplified and focused the mission of the INRF.  Ken Helfrich was elected as the new president of the INRF and you will read more about the changes and news of the INRF in future FYI Bulletins.

Be safe and I hope that you and your families have a great Christmas Season.

Steve Burson

President of IOGA

Owner / Operator of Storm Creek Outfitters LLC

Guides Section Vice President’s Message by Shane Moser

It’s a real honor to be IOGA’s first representative solely on behalf of guides.  The outfitters say they want to put the ‘G’ back in IOGA, so this is a big deal for myself, having been of the stance for many years that there really isn’t much IOGA currently offers guides.  I am here now, to do nothing other than speak for the ‘G.’

That being said, we as guides are now being reached out to by our outfitters, so this is our big chance to be heard.  We would love to hear from guides across the state about any issue that should be brought to the table.  Outfitters reading this, please pass the word along to all your guides.  We want to hear from everyone, whether a member or non-member of IOGA.  We want to hear from ski guides, bicycle guides, hunting guides, rec guides, boating guides, and any other guides that we may have missed here.

We want to hear about any guiding related issues in need of some attention.  No topic should be considered “off limits.”  Feel free to direct your preferred method of correspondence to myself:  Shane Moser, 208.661.9998; 44 Wagon Wheel Rd., Salmon, ID 83467; [email protected]

“Shane confides that he prefers packing to cooking in hunting camp. This is no surprise. Shane’s competence and dedication to training is top shelf and we would trust him with our duffel in any circumstance. We’ve worked with him on float crews and are excited to roll up our sleeves alongside Shane on IOGA projects.” Doug Rigby & Brian Reynolds

Click here to see Shane’s resume.

Executive Director’s Message by John May

I hope everyone is having a great Holiday Season and getting to spend some quality time with your friends and family. Personally I would like to thank all of you who took time out of your busy schedules to attend this year’s annual meeting in Boise. Your IOGA staff along with the help of some very dedicated volunteers worked hard to create a program that I believe was enjoyed by all who were able to attend. In an effort to continue to improve our meetings and what we offer our membership, the Board of Directors and staff would appreciate some feedback on this year’s event. Please click hereif you would like to share your thoughts.

A special thank you goes out to Barbara Judge, Lynn Demerse, Deborah Simonds, Dee Crane, Doug Tims, Gary Brookshire, Karlee May, Brooke May, Autumn Haney, Lora Haney, Nick Purvis, Crystal Ambagis and everyone who helped throughout the meeting and with the Thaw on Friday night. We couldn’t do it without you!

This year’s meeting had a couple of new areas of focus that we were proud to bring forward. The IOGA Annual Guides of the Year Awards were a great way to help recognize some of the very special people who work hard for our industry and their communities. This years winners were Dave Handy for the Hunt Section, Audrey Gehlausen for the Boating Section and Tim Hull for the REC Section. Please congratulate these folks when you see them and be thinking about your nominations for our 2015 awards. We also decided that it would fun to have a celebration night just for our members and industry supporters. This “Members Bash” event followed up our industry trade show and gave us a casual and fun evening full of networking, food, beverage and entertainment that seemed to be well received.

Prior to the start of the annual meeting and the day after the annual meeting, your Board members spent a couple of days working hard on the business side of the IOGA to help the staff decide on projects and a direction for the coming year. Grant SimondsJaney Bruesch and supplied the Board with our annual reports of the activities and accomplishments of the IOGA. If you are interested in seeing these reports in detail you can access them by clicking on the links above.

The dates for the 2015 Lobby Days are February 17 & 18 with the 18th being the actual Lobby Day event.  We need wild game, fish, birds, other grocery items and 25-30 volunteers.  Please contact Lynn Demerse or Janey Bruesch and let them know what you can do to help.

The 2015 annual meeting will be the week of November 30 – December 4, 2015 so get both of these on your calendar now. We would also love to see you April 8-9th at our Spring Board Meeting in Salmon this year, more details on that will be coming out shortly.

Remember that the IOGA is working hard for our industry and to hopefully improve your businesses but we can’t do it without a strong membership. Please encourage those who are not currently involved in our organization to take another look at the IOGA. We look forward to an even better 2015 with your support.

Happy New Year!

John May

Government Affairs Liaison Reports by Grant Simonds

Government Affairs Accomplishments

Grant Simonds presented an overview of 2014 government affairs topics during the annual IOGA meeting earlier this month. Click here for that presentation.

Resource Manager of the Year

BLM’s Monica Zimmerman was awarded the 2014 IOGA Resource Manager of the Year during the recent annual IOGA meeting. For more on this award click here.

New Chairmen for Resource Committees

The Idaho Legislature convenes on January 12 and both the House and Senate Resource committees will have new chairman. Tyler Mallard and Jeremy Pisca will again provide 24/7 coverage of the Idaho legislature on behalf of the IOGA. Click here for a review of new committee assignments.

IOGA Lobby Day February 18

The purpose of the IOGA Lobby Day at the Idaho Statehouse and the downtown Boise Basque Center is for IOGA members to make contact with elected leaders. Elected leaders love our unique reception style. Help us make it a success with your contributions of big game meat, fish, desserts and your help with cooking, serving and making contact with legislators at the Statehouse. We need 25 to 30 members to make our Lobby Day a success. Contact IOGA member Lynn Demerse or IOGA Office Manager Janey Bruesch to indicate your ability to help.

Congress Delays Listing of the Sage Grouse

Earlier this month, Congress attached a rider to an appropriations bill that delays any listing of the bird in 2015 as threatened. Nonetheless, work continues on collaborative plans to protect the sage grouse and its habitat across 11 Western states including Idaho. Idaho has led an effort to develop a state plan to conserve sagebrush habitat while allowing development and livestock grazing to continue. The Idaho plan has been incorporated into a BLM and Forest Service environmental analysis. The greatest threat to sagebrush habitat is fire and invasive weeds.

Guides Corner

PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW THE GUIDING PROFESSION IN IDAHO CAN BE MADE BETTER.  What needs to happen?  What is lacking to make guiding a true profession?  Feel free to direct your correspondence to Shane Moser.

As of now, there has been a motion passed to form a committee to generate and refine ideas in support of this effort.  Kelsey Helfrich and Kidd Youren – hunting, rafting and fishing guides living in Emmett – have been the first volunteers.  It would be nice to see guides on this committee represented from all corners of the state, and every facet of guiding.  So if you are seriously interested in being a part of the effort, please contact me via email.  The selection process has yet to be ironed out, but it would be great to have some ‘names in the hat.’

We have the full support of the Redside Foundation, as well as the outfitters.  Let’s use what we’ve got to get what we need.  This is an exciting time to be an Idaho guide and I am excited to be at your service.

Shane Moser

Celebration of Life for Michelle Zettel

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the Challis High School Gymnasium.  Michelle passed away at home on December 27, 2014.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Jones & Casey Funeral Home of Challis.

Classified Ads

Diamond D Ranch is looking for a cook at the ranch for this coming season!  It would be the lunch/dinner chef position.  Pay DOE.  Experience in cooking for large groups needed! Contact Kara Demorest for more information.

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

OUTFITTER BUSINESS FOR SALE The Coeur d’Alene River Big Game Outfitters is located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on the Idaho-Montana border and based in Coeur d’Alene in an exclusive permitted area by the USFS and licensed by the Idaho Outfitters and Guide’s Licensing Board.  The permitted area is very large in size with gorgeous mountains and streams, abundant wildlife, huge elk and proven 25 yr. plus years of outfitter success.  It is truly a one of a kind opportunity and landscape. The business includes hunting of elk, deer, bear and cougar; horseback riding on hourly, day or overnight packs; walk and wade fishing in the Coeur d’Alene River; back packing and day hikes.  Asking $95,000.  Inquire at [email protected] or call 208 683-2154 or 208 661-6476.  Web site:  www.cdaoutfitters.com.

Marketing Systems designed especially for Guides, Outfitters & Lodges.  Our systems utilize both web and mobile technology to systematically drive more interested clients to you.  We are not a website developer but we do help you get more out of the website you currently have. Click here for more information.

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 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 siteor contact Jon & Nancy Cummings, 208-865-2165.

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.

FOR SALE– Deadwood Outfitters lodge and facility lies in the heart of the 380 square mile permitted area.  Held by same family for nearly 50 years, this opportunity is the largest single permitted fishing and big game hunting business held by one family in the state of Idaho. Contact:  Kit Cave, Northwest Territories LLC, 208 315 2255

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.