New-Year News-Letter IOGA

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I'm pretty sure nobody else is spending their weekend writing an
Idaho specific, Industry Newsletter. 
...Plus the Rest.
New Year
News & Events
The THAW  |  Gala & Auction  | Feb. 19, 2020
This year's THAW Fundraising Dinner is: New and Improved! 'Nuff Said.
WHAT: THAW Gala & Auction 
WHEN: February 19, 2020
WHERERiverside Hotel  |  Boise, ID

Please join IOGA for “The Thaw” on Wednesday, February 19th at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. This year, IOGA is revamping The Thaw, our premier event of the year, supporting Idaho’s outfitting and guide community. This dinner event will feature live and silent auctions with the most sought-after outdoor trips in Idaho as well as the opportunity to mingle with fellow outdoor enthusiasts from across the state.
 New this year, the dinner will also feature keynote speakers and whitewater legends Peter Fox and Mark Cramer. Drawing on many experiences from their long careers, they’ll entertain the audience with their stories of adventure and first descents of some of the most difficult rivers in the world. 
Peter Fox fell in love with whitewater rafting at the age of 27 and has been rowing ever since. In 1985, he was part of the first raft descent of the Futuleufú River in Chile. He also led the televised, first raft descent of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine River in British Columbia. As a guide, he worked the Tuolumne River in California and the Bio Bio River in Chile. Peter is a rowing school instructor and is currently researching and writing a book on whitewater rowing: the history, the players, their adventures, and the evolution of technique.

Mark Cramer is one of the best-prepared whitewater boaters to ever pick up a pair of oars and the only person to have rafted North America’s big-water Triple Crown: Turnback Canyon of the Alsek, Devils Canyon of the Susitna, and Grand Canyon of the Stikine. Mark’s career began in 1975, running catarafts down most of the navigable rivers in Idaho, many at seriously high-water levels. Since then, he has completed 101 top-to-bottom runs on the North Fork Payette and has made several first rafting descents of California rivers. In 2014, he published a memoir of his forty-plus year career containing his stories, insights, and reflections of rowing over 30,000 river miles.


The Thaw is IOGA’s only fundraiser of the year and it supports the work we do as an association all year long. Please let me know if you are willing to donate to the event to support the association. Registration is open and table and corporate sponsorships are available. 
Registration is open and table and corporate sponsorships are available.

Online Registration: HERE 
Check out (and share!) our Sponsor Opportunity Packet and our Our Auction Donation Form 
2020 Legislative Session

It's on, and it's a fiery one. Here are the highlights so far: 
  • IOGA is bringing amending legislation to the hunt tag allocation statute passed last year in order to provide the guidance and authority necessary for its implementation according to intent. For the full update, read on HERE.
  • Senator Bracket has introduced a bill that would allow for Wolf Hunting year-round (RS27413). The Bill is not printed. But we got our hands on the RS. Check it out HERE.
  • Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board proposed legislation to move fees from statute to rule was killed in committee just 10 days into the 2020 session. The proposal intended to remove a few fees, but with its death in committee, the current fee structure remains unchanged. We'll keep everyone posted with any updates that arise from the (unexpected) development.
IOGA's Going to Washington 

While IOGA's namesake and focus are on our industry in our state, many of the key decisions that affect Guides, Outfitters, the wildlife, lands, and waters of Idaho are made across the country in our Nation's Capital.

During our Annual Meeting in Lewiston this past December, the IOGA Membership proposed and unanimously adopted a Resolution directing the Board and Executive Director "to continue to work towards restoring these fish to a state of abundance in Idaho, to bring members of our industry, rural communities and state together to identify and enact all options for recovery, and to this take what actions are constructive or necessary to realize this outcome insofar as those actions do not abridge or otherwise adversely affect current outfitted activities, operations or use."

In accordance with this directive, Aaron Lieberman and Jeff Bitton will be joining Idaho Wildlife Federation and four other individuals representing Idaho's river communities, outfitters, guides and anglers to meet with members of Idaho's Congressional Delegation to discuss and advocate for policies and solutions to restore abundant Salmon and Steelhead in Idaho. 

Read the full text of the Resolution here: 2019 Anadromous Abundance Resolution
Governor's Workgroup on Salmon and Steelhead Recovery

The Governor's workgroup on Salmon & Steelhead Recovery remains an ongoing focus and priority. IOGA Executive Director and other members of the workgroup met for two days over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The Workgroup received public comment Friday evening, including from IOGA President Jeff Bitton. The workgroup also accepts written comments via an online form,  if you would like to submit a comment for a future meeting but cannot attend in person.

This was followed by a full-day meeting of the workgroup Saturday, during which the workgroup was given presentations on the effects of ocean conditions, harvest, as well as habitat and trends of fish on the MF Salmon (by Russ Thurow). To review these presentations, head over to the Office of Species Conservation's subpage on the Governor's Workgroup, then scroll to down to the dropdown "Governor’s Salmon Workgroup Meeting in Boise, Idaho – 1/17/20 – 1/18/20 Agenda" .

In the discussions surrounding these presentations, Workgroup members discussed the nature, scope and timeline for the recommendations to be delivered to Governor Little. Importantly, while there remain sticking points and differences of opinion, these discussions seemed to reaffirm that there is at least consensus among workgroup members around the overarching goal of restoring abundant & sustainable, healthy and harvestable runs of Salmon & Steelhead to Idaho.

It is worth noting that this is also the task given the Workgroup by the Governor:

Mission Statement
Develop policy recommendations for Governor Little through a collaborative, consensus-driven, public process to restore abundant, sustainable, and well-distributed populations of salmon and steelhead in Idaho for present and future generations, while recognizing diverse interests throughout the State.

Testimony from guides and outfitters has been among the most impactful given during the public comment periods thus far. Members of our industry are uniquely strong messengers on this issue; we represent industry and stewardship, with a direct connection to the land and the resource, and not least, we are the backbone of rural Idaho's economy.

For these reasons and more, our industry's voice needs to be present, loud and heard in this process and on this issue.

The next meeting of the Workgroup is scheduled for March 5 in Boise. 
Vacant River Rep. Seat on Licensing Board Finally Filled

Idaho’s Licensing Board was established in 1961, with the charter of safeguarding the health, safety, welfare and freedom from injury or danger of those persons utilizing the services of outfitters and guides, and for the conservation of wildlife and range resources. Pursuant to the Outfitters and Guides Act, 36-2106, the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association  "... shall submit to the governor the names of two (2) qualified persons for each such vacancy created and the appointment to fill such vacancy shall be made by the governor...Immediately upon the creation of a vacancy, one (1) of the positions..."

After nearly a year in which outgoing Licensing Board representative Tom Long's term expired, the vacant river outfitter representative seat has finally been filled, with the appointment of Zach Mason (H2O Idaho). Zach one was of two names sent as IOGA nominees to the Governor's office.

Zach has a degree in Parks & Recreation -- Outdoor Recreational Leadership, with a background in guiding. These days, Zach is a full-time firefighter and paramedic in Meridian, where he lives with his wife Jessica and their two children. In addition, Zach teaches Swiftwater Rescue and Wilderness First Responder courses, all while also being owner and operator of H2O Idaho, a rafting company based out of Riggins, Idaho. Zach launched H20 to turn his enthusiasm for rafting into a company through which he could express his passion for the activity and which he could one day give to his kids. The philosophy he brings to the industry focuses on working together with other outfitters, forming a mutually supportive community that buoys and elevates the whole. Rafting outfitters based out of Riggins can attest personally that he practices what he preaches--from helping to organize regular get-togethers for guides from all the different local companies during the season to providing more advanced river and medical training at-cost and on his own time, to lending a van to an outfit in need. Check out this Post showing Zach's guides bringing their training to bear to help a private boater in need.

We (all of us) also need to thank outgoing Licensing Board River Rep. Tom Long for all of the time, energy and service he has given to our industry during his long tenure on the Licensing Board (three terms!). Tom Long has been a licensed outfitter on the Payette River since 1991. Three generations including his children and grandchildren are all involved in operating their business, Cascade Raft and Kayak based outside of Horseshoe Bend. 

Please reach out to Zach with any questions, concerns, information or encouragement relevant to his new role on the Licensing Board. 
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 208.447.7101

...and If you happen across Tom at some takeout, or are driving along the Payette with some time on your hands, buy the guy a beer. He's gone above and beyond for all of us. 
Zach Mason
Tom Long


“How do the youth in this community who want to stay enjoy prosperity? It’s about
people living here, feeling they belong here, and wanting to stay here....and, having the option to stay here.”

"Others emphasized these sorts of effects in relation to the remote geography that creates both the draw to the region because of its scenic aesthetics, but also hinders the development of economic opportunities: “Work needs to stay in the community because we are so isolated.” Related to jobs and employment opportunities, SCNF residents raised two other community trends affecting local notions of prosperity at the workshops and during interviews. Residents perceive that recreation-based and tourism-related industries have assumed greater proportions of the local economies as timber, ranching, and mining have declined."

More Feedback Needed

I. Stibnite Survey
We've heard a lot from folks who attended the meeting about the Mining in Idaho Presentation, which featured representatives from Midas Gold  (McKinsey Lyon - VP External Affairs) and the Conservation Community (John Robison - Idaho Conservation League). Most of that feedback has been concern about the potential environmental/ecological impacts of the proposed Stibnite Mine and consequent effects on outfitter businesses. But in order to more effectively gauge IOGA membership opinion on the issue, we are asking you help provide insight and direction by following the link below and completing the survey. It will only take a couple minutes (SurveyMonkey guesses 3-minutes on average) and is critical to informing how we engage and respond (or don't) on the issue.

Here is the link:

II. Annual Meeting Feedback
We know that everyone dug the casino. But it's genuinely really helpful to hear back from you all in terms of what was valuable or not, what you'd like to see more or less of or see at all at next year's meeting. Please let us know what you think about this year's annual meeting. 

Here's the link (this one is even faster):   

III. Salmon & Steelhead Forum
Finally, please take just a couple more minutes (last one; promise) to give us your feedback on the Salmon & Steelhead forum put on in conjunction with this year's meeting and your opinion on the specific approach you'd like to see the Association take in working toward restoring abundance.

Here is the link:


IOGA needs to build out a bank of quality photos and videos for use on social media, "big" IOGA website, the IOGA Brand Sites (2-3 of which are being revamped this year in a big way), the forthcoming IOGA Brand Social Media platforms, and any good rafting, fishing, hunting, and jetboat footage folks are willing to share for use in the development of some promotional videos we are contracting through ITC grant funds (ideally unbranded). 

If you have content you're willing to share out, please send it our way! If your internet connection makes that tough, let us know and we'll work out a way to get a drive to you. 
Thanks in advance for helping out! 
Think this Newsletter is "wordy" but otherwise Legit ? Join Now in Solidarity.
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Recommended Read & Watch
TOPIC: Salmon & Steelhead
*A refreshingly balanced article
*Well done, Jerry!
Governor's Salmon Work Group Looks to Address Salmon Recovery in Idaho
Ep.65: Hosted by Priscilla Macy, Erik Weiseth, and Zach Collier
Listen: A New Solution For Snakebites
READ: Storms Boost Idaho Water Supply
WATCH: Nouria Newman is Tough as Nails
READ: The World Of Whitewater’s First Semi-Pro Pedal Boater
GEAR: Quickset by CLAM
Events Calendar
IOGA Goes to Washington | Jan 27-29, 2020 | Swampland, USA

Salmon Chapter IOGA Meeting: Feb. 6, 2020 | The Ranch Saloon

Safari Club International Show: Feb. 5-8, 2020 | Reno, NV

The THAW Gala & Auction: Feb. 19, 2020 | Riverside Hotel | Boise

Salmon & Steelhead Workgroup Meeting | March 5, 2020 | Boise, Idaho

ITC Tourism Tour - Region III: March 24, 2020 | 700 W State St. | Boise

Salmon Horse Sale | April 3-4, 2020 | Salmon, Idaho
Trading Post
Looking for Help?

Elm Outfitters & Guides Training School Program has students ready and eager to go to work. If you are in need of a well-trained individual(s) for Fall, Summer, or Spring seasons i.e. Packers/Guides/Wranglers. Please give us a call or email.

Thank you,
Michael & Julie Knott

Elm Outfitters & Guides Training Program Inc.
Ph. 406-961-3603
Email: [email protected]
Alaska Ventures Lodge is taking
Applications for as Manager position
at our private facility at Lake Clark, AK
May through September
Please apply at;
   [email protected]
Outfitting Business for Sale
Wilderness Outfitter and Guide business for sale - $350,000
  • Conducts pack in elk, deer, bear, wolf, mountain lion and other predator hunts
  • Business has been running over 20 years with a 30% to 50% profit margin
  • All equipment, livestock, business info and customer data base included
  • Non-disclosure agreement required for specific information
Michael & Julie Knott
Elm Outfitters & Guides Training Program Inc.
Ph. 406-961-3603
Email: [email protected]
Ground Transportation Company - $25,000
Established transportation business for sale. Currently providing ground transportation throughout southern and central Idaho (Boise, Stanley, McCall, Riggins, Salmon, Sun Valley, and places beyond and in between). Middle Fork and Main Salmon whitewater rafters and kayakers, mountain bikers and backpackers in the Sawtooths and Whiteclouds, wedding shuttles around Stanley, airport and hotel/motel/ranch transportation. Tons of potential yet to be tapped. 

Sale includes 3 vehicles (Two 14 passenger vans and one 20 passenger shuttle bus).

Email for further details and financials.  [email protected]
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Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association
9450 W. Fairview Ave., Ste. #110
Boise, ID 83704

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