Well it is the end of October and for most of the river outfitters the boats are cleaned and rolled up.  For the land based guys their mules are up to their bellies in either snow or mud. And everyone is anxious for the annual IOGA meeting in Boise in early December.

I am writing this message from our base camp at Paradise in the Selway.  This is a historic camp and has been here for about 60 years.  Oh by the way that is how long IOGA has existed.  We will be celebrating the 60th anniversary at this year’s meeting.   The Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association was the first outfitters association to be formed in the United States.  The outfitting industry in Idaho has a long and proud history and IOGA has been there since the early days.  Those early outfitters were smart enough to figure out that their collective efforts were required if they were going to have any impact at the state and federal levels as significant changes were occurring in the outfitting industry.  Our issues today may be different than what they faced back in the 50’s but having a strong organization that represents our collective interests is perhaps even more important now than then.

So please show support for your organization by attending this year’s meeting December 11th & 12th.  We have a little different format this year.  On Thursday evening the 11th we are having a members and suppliers party separate from the fund raiser to celebrate our 60th anniversary.  It will be a lot of fun and we will recognize some of the people that were instrumental in creating the industry in Idaho.  On Friday night we will be holding the Thaw fundraiser for the public.  In addition to all the fun there will be valuable sessions covering specific topics to the industry and your section.

Thanks and see you in Boise.

Annual Meeting

The 60th anniversary annual IOGA meeting is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, December 11 and 12 at the Boise Red Lion Downtowner. Click here for lodging, registration and agenda information.  The IOGA special room rate is $67 for up to four people per room. Call the Red Lion Downtowner at 208.344.7691 and ask for the Front Desk by November 17th to secure room rate. Mention you are with IOGA. This room rate is good for meeting attendees between December 6 and 15 should you have reason to be in Boise before and/or after the IOGA meeting

Some agenda highlights include: “IOGA Pioneers—Reflections on Outfitting in the Early Days of IOGA”; Idaho Public Television documentary “50 Years of Wilderness” of which IOGA is the primary corporate sponsor; panel on maintaining and nourishing relationships between outfitters and state/federal licensing and permitting agencies; river manager reports; Fish and Game updates; and national issues update with David Brown of America Outdoors Association. Exhibitor space is filling up quickly. The annual Poetry and Photocontests are always a highlight. A preliminary agenda and registration forms were mailed earlier in October. Don’t hesitate to contact IOGA Office Manager Janey Bruesch for more information.

Thaw Dinner/Auction Fundraiser

The Annual Thaw Dinner and Auction Fundraiser will be Friday, December 12th.  There will be live and silent auctions, raffles and entertainment.  This event is open to the public.  Tickets are $40 each or a table of 10 for $400.  Seating is limited so purchase your tickets early.

We are looking for donations and volunteers to help make this event a huge success.  If you can donate or volunteer to help, please contact IOGA Office Manager, Janey Bruesch, as soon as possible.

Still Guiding at 80!

Steve Zettel, Idaho Wilderness Company, thought all IOGA members would enjoy this photo and story, especially those who are feeling old, regardless of their age.

I’m sure that when I sign a paycheck for the first time next summer for my oldest son as a guide on the Middle Fork, it will be a special moment.  Until then, this is my favorite paycheck ever.  Stan Potts, 80 years old, guided a horseback wilderness hunt for me last week.  I’m the old guy on the left, Stan is on the right.  Now I have to last at least 26 more years to set any kind of record!

Guide’s Corner by Doug Rigby

Idaho guide/scholars, don’t miss the out on the Telly Evans memorial scholarships provided by the Redside Foundation.  If you are an Idaho guide in college, professional or trade school, Redside can help you pay for it. Applications are due November 30!  Please visit their website for details and requirements.

Every spring, nearly half of us scramble to find our required first aid training.  If this is your year, avoid the crush and get instruction that is more relevant to our industry. Register for the IOGA sponsored class on Thursday, December 11th from 2 to 4. Clint Frank of Middle Fork River Tours is a Sandpoint firefighter and will lead the class.

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