Vice President's Message by Will Judge 10/01

Like any organization, IOGA’s well being and effectiveness heavily depends on the quality and the willingness of its leadership. IOGA continues to benefit from those folks who step forward from the ranks to fill leadership positions. In fact, quality leadership is essential. I would encourage every member to consider stepping up and throwing your “hat in the ring” for any vacant positions. There is an opportunity annually at our winter conference for future leaders to appear on the ballot and become involved at a greater level. The “nuts and bolts” of this process are included elsewhere in this FYI. My goal today is to prompt members to think about filling a vacancy themselves or encouraging and nominating someone for a leadership role. Having said that, leadership does require a commitment of time and a desire to make IOGA even better.

Nominations & Elections

IOGA will be electing three Officers and three Board members during the December meeting. The terms for Steve Burson, President; Darl Allred, Treasurer; and Ari Kotler, Rivers Vice President; expire during the upcoming annual IOGA meeting of December 11-12. The River Vice President will be elected during the River Section meeting. The President and Treasurer will be elected during the general election. Terms for Officers are two years so officers elected in December will serve until elections are held at the annual meeting in December 2016. For duties and responsibilities, click here. Board of Directors whose terms are expiring this December are outfitters George McQuiston, Joseph Peterson and Seth Tonsmeire. Board members will be elected during the general election in December. The terms for the IOGA Board of Directors are three years. For duties and responsibilities, click here. The IOGA Board of Directors consists of fifteen members: six Officers (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Hunting VP; Rivers VP and REC VP) and 9 Board of Director members. All Officers and Board members are expected to attend the board meetings during the annual meeting (usually in December) as well as a spring meeting. Officers are also expected to attend the Executive Committee meeting which was held in conjunction with the spring board meeting this year. Presently, the IOGA Board is made up of six boating/fishing outfitter-guides; three hunting outfitter-guides, two REC outfitter-guides, two combo hunting/REC outfitter-guides and two hunting/river outfitter-guides. Nominations for IOGA Officers and Board of Directors occur before and during the annual meeting. Send your nominations to Will Judge, IOGA’s Vice President or Janey Bruesch, the IOGA Office Manager. Licensing Board. By statute IOGA will send the names of two qualified outfitters/guides to the Governor for consideration of the outfitter position on the Licensing Board that expires in April 2015. The IOGA Board of Directors will interview the outfitter/guide nominees during the IOGA Board meeting on December 13th. The current incumbent with the three-year term expiring in April 2015 is outfitter Louise Stark, White Cloud Outfitters.  Louise will have served two terms on the IOGLB and has not made a decision on whether she is interested in being nominated again. Send your nominations to Will Judge, IOGA Vice President, Grant Simonds, Government Affairs Liaison, or Janey Bruesch, IOGA Office Manager. The IOGLB is a five member board-three outfitters, a public representative and one member representing the IDFG Commission.

River Vice President's Message by Ari Kotler

IOGA Members;

As the world changes and the technological world keeps expanding, the experiences we offer on the rivers and in the Wilderness become more and more critical to the health of our nation.  Reconnecting with family and friends, disconnecting with technology, and experiencing nature is more vital today than ever.  Yes, this is our livelihood, but as stewards of the land we can embrace the experiences we offer as a means to strengthen and ground our country.  In some light, in this day of age, our work could be considered spiritual as we connect individuals to natures miracles and its awesomeness.  Thank you for all that you do. We influence people for the better and make this a more balanced nation one trip at a time. From the river outfitters I have communicated with it seems that this past season was a great success with good water flows and improved bookings.  We all hope that this trend continues.  Keep up the good work!


Many of us are dependent upon Wilderness for both our livelihoods and our recreational opportunities.   We prefer to be in the ‘Great Outdoors’ for our work, time spent with family and friends; for hunting, fishing, and to reconnect with the natural world.  This year represents the 50th year of the Wilderness Act.  While many of us in Idaho spend a portion of our year out in Wilderness, there is another opportunity to explore what Wilderness is and means on a national level. In October, the 50th Anniversary of National Wilderness Conference takes place in New Mexico. This is the first time in 25 years that federal and state agencies, various non-profits and wilderness user-groups are coming together to discuss, engage and celebrate wilderness in a collective setting and on a national level.  Workshops from ‘Wilderness for Veterans’ to ‘The Economics of Wilderness Values’, to ‘ Wilderness Travel & the Human Spirit’ will be discussed.  There will be many other workshops at the conference that include the topics of: stewardship, protection, civic engagement, use, science, education, and the history of Wilderness. For more information and the full schedule of events, workshops, exhibits,  lectures and outings at the conference, visit  There is still opportunity to register. Let’s represent Idaho Wilderness & Idaho Folks!


The December meeting and fundraising event is quickly approaching.  John May and Janey Bruesch are busy planning the week.  If anyone has any ideas for speakers or seminars or just general discussions, please share these with us and we can work to orchestrate the ideas in our time frame.  This is your organization.  Thank you for any considerations or input.  We look forward to seeing you in December.

Executive Director's Message by John May

IOGA Members, As the end of the summer is upon us and the fall season starts up things continue to be busy at the IOGA. We are fine-tuning some great improvements that will be launched shortly to the IOGA website. We are excited about the Members Section of the site; this area will only be accessible by member sign in and hopefully contain more information to help all our members be successful. The “Raft Idaho” program continues to move forward and we now have Raft Idaho ads and banners that can be used in publications and for future shows.  So let us know if you would like to use any of these items to help promote the Raft Idaho brand. “Hunt Idaho” is the next marketing project we are working on and we hope to have some cool things to show you on this at this year’s annual meeting. Speaking of the annual meeting, mark you calendars for December 11th and 12th, as that will be this years meeting date. We will be at the Red Lion Downtowner in Boise and have some great things planned. One new event planned this year will be the “Members Bash” complete with food, beverage and entertainment that will be held Thursday evening the 11th. We will also be recognizing the guide members who are so key to our industry in our first ever Guide Of The Year Award. We are also the sponsor of Idaho Public TV’s “50 Years of Wilderness” which will get us some great exposure throughout the country and allow us to have a private screening of this show at our meeting. This is only a few of the great schedule we have planned this year so be sure to attend. We are also in the middle of putting together the 2015 Directory of Idaho Guided Outdoor Adventures. You will see quite a few changes in this year’s book as we are stepping up what has been done in the last few years because of many of your comments and suggesions. Please support your publication by advertising yourself or encouraging those who you work with to do so. Finally we are evaluating many different marketing opportunities and shows that might make sense for the IOGA to participate in. If you have any ideas please feel free to forward them to Janey or myself and we will take a look at them. Thanks and have a great October. John May
Grant Simonds continues as the IOGA Government Affairs Liaison after having served 29 years as the IOGA Executive Director. He monitors state and federal agencies, serves as IOGA’s primary contact with the national outfitter organization, America Outdoors Association, and assists the IOGA lobby team of Risch Pisca PLLC with monitoring the Idaho Legislature.

Forest Service Commercial Filming Permit Requirement Needs Major Rewrite

This issue has been a topic of conversation both during the December 2013 annual IOGA meeting and last winter during an IOGA Salmon Chapter meeting. The Salmon Challis National Forest provided this handout this past winter relative to understanding the current interim directive that is set to expire this month. On September 4, 2014, the Forest Service published a new directive in the Federal Register that would replace the interim directive that suggests that an outfitter or guide would need a separate commercial filming permit for taking a few photos of your wilderness hunting, fishing, pack trip or boating excursions on Wild and Scenic Rivers bounded by designated wilderness for use in your brochure or on social media. Photos could not be used to advertise your services even though you are permitted to operate in wilderness, according to the directive. This is nonsense! Journalists, including Idaho Public Television (IPTV), are protesting the new rules as a violation of U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The Forest Service’s current interim directive caused a fuss in 2010 when the agency refused to allow an IPTV crew into designated wilderness to film student conservation workers. The agency eventually caved to pressure from Idaho Governor Butch Otter. Earlier this month, an IPTV reporter was told by a Forest Service official in eastern Idaho that they would have to get permission to film on land managed by the Forest Service that would include an interview with an agency botanist. Never mind that IPTV’s “Outdoor Idaho” show has run for over 30 years and during this time interviews of agency persons have occurred on every conceivable topic on all kinds of terrain. It seems that the agency is moving toward determining what breaking news is with all else needing a commercial filming permit. The BLM does not require any special use permit for newsgathering in wilderness areas. David Brown, Executive Director of America Outdoors Association, has suggested the following:  Outfitter and guide permits should include an authorization for incidental photography and filming where the goal of the filming or photography has the objective of providing the public with information about the use and enjoyment of wilderness including fulfilling the recreational and other purposes of The Wilderness Act. The permit holder should be able to use the photos to advertise their services in the wilderness area represented in the images. No separate filming or photography permits should be required for these incidental uses by existing permit holders and the agency should provide a safe harbor for photographic activities until those permits are renewed and the authorization can be included in it. Therefore, the directive should clarify that existing permits for incidental photography and filming of wilderness or outfitting and guiding in wilderness will not require this authorization. IOGA’s Government Affairs Liaison, Grant Simonds, is preparing comments on the new directive that are due by November 3. Click here for the full rule. Members are encouragesd to send email comments to Commercial Filming in Wilderness, Attn: Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Guide Corner

This is a new section of our monthly FYI Bulletin that will be used to focus on issues, ideas, articles and training that we believe will be of specific importance to the Guide Members of our organization. Any current member of the IOGA is welcome to submit something that they feel is of importance to our guides, and once approved, it will be included into the next available FYI. Feel free to contact us directly with any ideas you may have for an upcoming Guides Corner. Please note that information is coming out in October on the nomination process for IOGA’s Guide Of The Year Award. One guide from each section (Hunt, River, REC) will be recognized and awarded at this year’s annual meeting on Thursday night, Dec. 11th at the “Members Bash” event. Help us recognize those who make a difference!

Classified Ads

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