If you're a guide or outfitter in Idaho, which most of you receiving this newsletter are, then you should have received a postcard from the Licensing Board with the following notification: "The Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board is in the process making changes to its rules. These changes may impact all of the Board's rules, including the designation of allocated tags."
This means that Idaho's outfitters and guides have a unique opportunity here to comment on and propose changes/additions to the rules that regulate key parts of our industry.
The licensing board has extended the comment period for this rulemaking "because it is considering major substantive changes to river sections, licensable activities and guide qualifications."
IOGA strongly encourages that all guides and outfitters review (1) the relevant comments/proposals/documents posted to the IOGLB website (HERE), as well as (2) IOGA's comment(s) on the IOGLB rules, submitted to the Board in July, prior to the last negotiated rulemaking hearing (HERE), and (3) submit your own comments/feedback to the Licensing Board before September 11 either by email ([email protected]) or else in person (the hearing is on September 11, 2019 at 10:00 MST in the Idaho State Capitol Building, Room WW53 located at 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise 83702.
It is important to remember that all state agency rules promulgated in 2019 must be approved by the 2020 legislature. We strongly encourage all outfitters to review the content of IOGA's draft comments and proposals. We also would request you share with IOGA any comments or proposals you share directly with the board such that we can more effectively represent the needs and concerns of the industry for our part of negotiated rulemaking.
Governor's Workgroup on Salmon & Steelhead
The third meeting of the Governor's workgroup on Salmon & Steelhead is scheduled for September 19-20 in Lewiston. There is an opportunity for public comment on the 20th starting at 2:30 pm.
We strongly encourage outfitters and guides, in particular those licensed for salmon/steelhead fishing, to attend the meeting and share your perspectives on this important issue. Our industry is, in no small part, built upon the health and success of these fish, and the state of Idaho is built upon the health and success of our industry. Members of the work group as well as the general public, need to understand how integral sport fishing is to not only the state's economy, but also our sense of community and connection. It is up to us to communicate this message and protect the fish that we all rely on.
(If you are an outfitter or guide and are motivated to attend and speak at the upcoming workgroup meeting, please contact us for any help you might need finding transport or with any questions you might have regarding the meeting or the broader issue itself. We have multiple outfitters/guides planning to attend from different parts of the state and it is likely we can help to coordinate a strong industry showing at the Lewiston meeting.)
Bear Baiting Suit Update
WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project and Wilderness Watch filed suit against the federal government in early June over its practice of allowing black bear hunters to use bait in Wyoming and Idaho. The federal suit was filed in Idaho, naming the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as defendants.
The suit seeks to force the Forest Service to stop allowing black bear baiting in areas of national forests in Wyoming and Idaho where grizzly bears may be. The groups say the government has violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by allowing incidental kills of grizzlies by black bear hunters using bait.
Federal law currently allows individual states to determine whether to allow black bear hunters to use bait. Idaho and Wyoming are the only two lower-48 states within the grizzly bear’s range that allow bear baiting by black bear hunters, and are among 12 states nationwide that allow baiting of black bears.
The litigants say black bear hunters in those two states have killed eight grizzly bears. Grizzlies have been listed as threatened under the ESA since 1975.
The Justice Department will have assigned a lawyer to the case upon notification of the filing.
The timeframe for a suit against the federal government is 60-day, in terms of the response. The deadline for these responses to be submitted is September 9.
Whatever the nature of that response (and there are a number of possibilities), it will be filed and scheduled accordingly by Magistrate Cami Dale.
Wyoming, Idaho or other non-state entities may file to be admitted as an intervenor in the case (essentially, a vested supporting party of the defense, with accompanying obligations). As of September 7, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Safari Club International have filed to intervene in the suit.
Until the FS/USFWS file their response, we are effectively in a holding pattern.
A. Contact your elected representatives and express your concerns to them. (Find your Legislators HERE)
But please do not attack the litigant groups nor those who might sympathize with their ideas. Bear-baiting is a central practice for many hunt outfitters, but we need to be conscious that it is a divisive issue, not least within our own membership. This update, and the talking points listed below, is not meant to be an endorsement by the Association of the practice. Nor is this caveat I'm writing meant to be a disavowel. I don't make those calls. You do. What I am trying to accomplish here is to clarify the timeline and context of the issue, then to offer some suggestions about how to approach and discuss this, meaningfully, in a public forum, with information based on sound reason and affirmed science. With that...
B. Discussing the Issue with Reason and Respect: Potential Talking Points
Idaho already does not allow baiting in recovery zone currently.
Grizzly bears are proliferating even while baiting black bears outside core recovery habitat has been practiced.
Yes, baiting is divisive. As sportsmen we should always be challenging each other and have thoughtful conversations about hunting. Those conversations can, and have, eventually come to fruition through game commissions where new policy is set. Let's talk about bear-baiting. It's okay to do so. But let's not talk about betraying the Commission model and put important decisions in the hands of judges who know nothing on the subject.
Management of wildlife through legislation or the judiciary is neither ideal or scientifically sound. Entire agencies full of scientific expertise guide those decisions, which are not taken lightly. Whether you support baiting or not is of no matter. We all need to support these decisions being made by game agencies, commissions, and input from the public. Not one person (a judge).
Bear baiting is actually defensible. You can take closer and more accurate shots. You can accurately sex as well. Baiting can actually help hunters avoid accidental take of grizzlies.
This is an inappropriate use of the ESA. How many elk, deer, or bird hunters have had to shoot grizzlies in self-defense? How many berry pickers? Point is, whatever gets humans into these areas sets us up for conflict. Bear baiting is likely the lowest conflict starter (i.e., there are far fewer black bear hunters than there are trail runners).
There are an estimated 40 problem grizzlies killed a year in the three states that practice baiting. As hunters, we support efforts to mitigate these conflicts (like infrastructure to keep grizzlies from entering county dumps and becoming habituated to food, wildlife overpasses, whatever). The lawsuit claims 0.33 grizzlies are killed per year by black bear baiting. Certainly, we stand with other hunters and non-hunters to reduce the 0.33/year, but the 40 per year are killed by other conflicts.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns, or to check for any updates on this issue. I have been following it closely and am in regular communication with a swath of interested and involved parties so as to stay up to date and on top of it.
]"The return of steelhead to the Snake River and its tributaries continues to fall short of what was an already low preseason forecast. Idaho Fish and Game commissioners will meet in Nampa next week to consider adjusting bag limits for the steelhead harvest seasons that open on the Snake and Salmon rivers Sept. 1 and the Clearwater River on Oct. 15" READ ON
3nd Meeting of the Governor's Workgroup on Salmon & Steelhead | September 19-20, 2019 | Lewsiton, Idaho
Oktoberfest!: Friday, September 20-21, 2019 | Ketchum Town Square | Ketchum, Idaho
Idaho Travel Council Meeting: October 21, 2019 | Sun Valley, ID
ICORT 2019 (ID Conference on Recreation&Tourism): Oct. 22-24, 2019 | Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley
IOGA Board Meeting(s): December 3 & 6, 2019 | Clearwater Casino | Lewiston, ID
IOGA Annual Meeting: December 4-5, 2019 | Clearwater Casino | Lewiston, ID
The THAW | IOGA Annual Gala: February 19, 2020 | Riverside Hotel | Boise, ID
The owners are retiring and offering the business for sale.
Summary Key Points of the Business
Idaho outfitters enjoy unique operating areas giving them exclusive commercial rights within their areas. No competition with other outfitters within your area.
The hunting regulations for this unit allow any weapon hunting for rutting elk starting September 15th. You can rifle hunt for bugling elk.
Guaranteed Outfitter Elk Tags. Over the counter for deer, lion, bear and wolf.
Business operates under permit with the Bitterroot National Forest.
Business has 2 historic year-round drive to permanent Base Camps with great facilities allowing for high operational efficiency.
There are approximately 40 trail miles and 20 road miles adjacent to the Wild and Scenic Selway River giving unparalleled fishing and recreational access to this magnificent resource.
There are several purchasing options for the business.
Call Steve at (406) 360-8897 for details
For Sale: Iridium 9505A Satellite Phone
AC Travel Charger & International Plug Kit,
Auto Accessory Adapter,
Leather Carry Case with Lanyard Wrist Strap,
Antenna Adapter and Portable Auxiliary Antenna.
($200.00) Contact Sue @ 208-935-5023.
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.
Michael & Julie Knott
Elm Outfitters & Guides Training Program Inc.
Email: [email protected]
When: Needed for Fall 2019. What: Part-time, seasonal back country guide Who: Flying B Ranch - Kamiah, Idaho