Industry Update

November 5, 2022

ExpertVoice Access: If you are an active member of IOGA fill out an application on ExpertVoice and get discounts on outdoor brands! Login or signup at www.ExpertVoice.com, search for “Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association” and follow the signup flow, a team manager will review your application.

GuideFitter: Active outfitter members should have received an email from Guide Fitter to sign up for free and receive outfitter prodeals, if you have any questions, contact [email protected].


Grant Award: IOGA was awarded a $151,000 grant from Idaho Commerce! Grants are awarded to qualified non-profits to fund projects that promote tourism to Idaho. IOGA uses these funds for many projects, including the creation and promotion of the IOGA Brand Sites (Hunt Idaho, Fish Idaho, Raft Idaho, Jet Boat Idaho, Ride Idaho, and Guest Ranch Idaho). If your business needs to get listed on one of the sites email [email protected]

Safari Club Trade Shows: IOGA will attend the Safari Club International show in Las Vegas and the Dallas Safari Club show. Who else plans to go? Contact [email protected].

Jim Thrash Memorial: Watch this YouTube video from Grant Simonds and Doug Tims.
Read the Memorial Writeup
Read the 1989 article about Jim Thrash

ANNUAL MEETING 

The meeting is virtual this year! Join us on December 2nd for our all member general session. Other sector and breakout meetings are happening Nov. 29th – Dec. 3rd. 
Information on how to join the Annual Meeting will only be sent to active members.
If you haven’t had a chance to renew your membership call (208)342-1438, or fill out a new member application

In our last newsletter we made an appeal to our members to help carry us through this tough financial time. IOGA has worked hard for you defending and advocating for the interests of outfitters and guides, and keeping the membership informed about critical issues. Thank you for your support! Make a Contribution to IOGA

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Thank you to our registered Exhibitors!

CBI Insurance (801)745-1221
Leavitt Recreation Insurance (605)423-4362

Thank you to our Members!
For your additional contribution to IOGA
Bear Paw Outfitters
Idaho River Journeys
Rawhide Outfitters
Northwest Rafting Co.
Sheila and Dave Mills
Idaho Wilderness Co.
River of No Return Wilderness Outfitters
OARS • Dories
Action Whitewater Adventures
Boulder Creek Outfitters
Whitewater Expeditions
Mile High Outfitters
Flying B Ranch

Bighorn Outfitters
Flying Resort Ranches
Orange Torpedo Trips
Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch
White Cloud Outfitters
Helfrich River Outfitters
Sheep Meadows Outfitters
Winding Waters River Exp.
Jim Norton
McGowan Outfitting
Jane Koeckeritz
Louise Stark
Mike Scott
Diamond Creek Co.

Upcoming Meetings

Fish & Game: November 15 – 16th
Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board: December 8th

From our Members

In the News

Legislative Update

The Idaho Legislature will reconvene on Nov. 15, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder confirmed. Bedke said the House will consider possible legislation relating to vaccine mandates, and also complete its action regarding an ethics complaint against Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird.
Idaho’s Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial candidate, Janice McGeachin, continues to make news and embroil herself in controversy. The latest involves her unwillingness to release documents to the press regarding her self-appointed Education Task Force. She created the task force to discover and root out “indoctrination” and “protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism and Marxism.” 

Journalists from around the state requested copies of letters received by the task force and other related documents in McGeachin’s possession. After initially denying those requests, her office reluctantly released copies so heavily redacted that they were rendered meaningless. Ultimately, several members of the press sued under the Idaho Public Records Act. In a scathing opinion, the judge ruled that McGeachin unlawfully withheld the documents “deliberately and in bad faith.” He ordered that the records be released in their entirety, that McGeachin be fined $750, and he awarded attorney fees and costs of nearly $30,000 to the Idaho Press Club. (McGeachin chose to be represented by private legal counsel, rather than by the state’s Attorney General). 

Despite being ordered to release the documents, McGeachin refused to comply. The Idaho Press Club filed a motion for contempt of court – a finding of contempt that could have involved jail time. At the 11th hour, McGeachin released 3,602 unredacted public comments – the overwhelming majority of which criticized McGeachin for wasting the taxpayers’ money on a political stunt.

Idaho State Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, announced that she will run for Idaho Secretary of State next year, there are already three other announced Republican candidates.

Idaho State Budget

  • The Joint Finance and Appropriation Committee met in October to prepare for the 2022 legislative session. Idaho has a budget surplus of over $1.4 billion. 
  • In addition, Idaho will receive $1.8 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. These funds will be used for:
    • Covid-19 response; including health emergency costs
    • Capital projects; potentially water, sewer, and broadband
    • The rest will be distributed among cities and counties throughout the state
  • Income Tax Rebate; 645,000 income tax rebates have been sent out, part of tax relief legislation passed earlier this year

Covid-19

Idaho’s COVID-19 case numbers are so high that the state is still worse off than when it first entered “crisis standards of care,” but public health officials said October 19th that some hope is on the horizon.

 “For the first time since July, things are headed in a better direction,” Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said during a public briefing, noting that the number of new cases was flattening out. “It also means that we are not out of the woods yet.” 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that communities seek to have the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 below 5%. Idaho’s statewide positivity rate is still around 13%, and some counties, such as Boundary and Idaho counties in the northern half of the state, have positivity rates well above 20%.

Federal

Submit Comment!
Department of the Interior is Accepting Comments on Racial Equity in Recreation Opportunities 
Until November 18, 2021, the public has an opportunity to comment. Read more: Notice on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through Recreation Opportunities. This legislation is directly related to recreation on DOI lands, and could have an impact on outfitting and guiding.
Submit Comment: https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/DOI-2021-0008-0002

Recreation Package on the Horizon – from an AO update
In a narrowing window of opportunity, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is hastening to hold a hearing on a recreation package with numerous provisions, and the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation is at the helm. In addition to the SOAR Act, America Outdoors is pushing for seasonal outfitters to be able to use 9-15 passenger vans subject to the regulations of their state, rather than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regardless of distance.  Provisions streamlining mountain bike and climbing access are on the table as well.

$15 Federal Minimum Wage Order. The Department of Labor published its proposed regulation to implement the Biden Administration’s Executive Order 14026, establishing a $15 minimum wage for federal contractors on the 22nd of July. This proposed rule affects all federal contractors, not just public land permittees. In many cases the application of the Executive Order as interpreted through these proposed regulations does not address the unique business model that is the outfitting and guiding industry. You can review the proposed regulation on the federal register. Read the official comment from AO, IOGA, and affiliated outfitter associations

Infrastructure Act Includes Provisions of Interest to outfitters and guides:

Short Haul Exemption for Providers of Recreation Activities, Sec. 23012
A significant win for AO and outfitters, an exemption from federal regulatory requirements for 9-15 passenger vans is included in the Senate infrastructure bill. When the vehicle is operating within 150 air miles from the outset of the trip and crosses state lines, with or without trailers, vans are exempt from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. FMCSA requirements include year-round insurance policies, electronic logbooks, and other provisions that do not translate well to seasonal outfitter transportation needs.

Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety, Sec. 28001
As vessels such as kayaks and tubes become more ubiquitous on popular recreational rivers, congestion and other conflicts at put-ins and take-outs are on the rise. This section directs the Comptroller of the United States to analyze how increased use of non-motorized vessels is increasing conflicts at access points with non-motorized and motorized vessels, and user conflicts at waterway access points. This study will likely be undertaken to analyze how a proliferation of non-motorized vessels who are not contributing funds to maintain access points are creating an imbalance in the system. America Outdoors will be tracking this issue, as the study may point to an interest in expanding excise taxes to non-motorized vessels.

Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail Remediation Program
Through this bill, $250,000,000 will be made available to fund the US Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail Remediation program, repairing and maintaining roads and trails in the forest system. While this is just a percentage of the overall maintenance backlog the USFS faces, it provides an opportunity to repair and improve many routes that have been on the back burner for some time. The selection of projects would be done with local input and may include the decommissioning of some routes. Keep an eye on your local forest to ensure that the funds are being appropriately spent.

National Motor Vehicle Per-mile User Fee Pilot, Sec. 13002
The U.S. Highway Trust Fund, paid for primarily through fuel taxes, is facing diminishing funds as more and more drivers switch to electric vehicles. In an effort to “restore and maintain the long-term solvency” of the fund, this amendment purports to establish a per-mile user fee pilot program for commercial and non-commercial vehicles alike. Should this pilot program be expanded, gas-powered vehicles could be taxed twice for the same fund, once at the pump and once through a per-mile fee.