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2014 Project Accomplishments and Summary for the Idaho Trails Association

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ITA’sMission

Idaho Trails Association promotes the continued enjoyment of Idaho’s hiking trails.

The Idaho Trails Association (ITA) is a non-profit organization.

ITA’s Purpose:

To facilitate the active enjoyment of Idaho’s public lands and hiking trails, the Idaho Trails Association brings together citizens and develops partnerships to foster:

  • Care-taking of Idaho’s hiking trails through stewardship projects, including trail construction and maintenance.
  • Development of traditional trails maintenance skills.
  • Understanding and appreciation, through education of Idaho’s unique trail resources.
  • Preservation, protection and access to Idaho’s hiking trails through outreach and advocacy.

In 2014 Idaho Trails Association completed seven projects on the National Forest and BLM system lands in Idaho.  Our Agency sponsors were the Boise BLM-Bruneau Field Office, Payette, Boise, Sawtooth and Panhandle National Forests.  Four of these projects were within designated Wilderness, and involved both trail work and stewardship activities and three were on high use non-motorized trails.

The projects ranged from five volunteers in more remote and logistically challenging areas to fifty volunteers on the work days that were closer to large population bases.

  • Number of volunteers- 139
  • Volunteer field hours- 1,660
  • Monetary value- $36,520
  • Miles of trail cleared-40.5
  • Miles of trail reconstructed-4
  • Miles of new construction-2
  • Logs cut from trail- 125
  • Water bars cleaned- 350
  • Puncheon constructed- 18 feet
  • Bridge construction- 1 @18 feet
  • Fence Removal- 1.6 miles
  • Human Waste Removal- “Piles”                                                                                            
  • Wilderness Campsite Naturalization-11

 Project Highlights:  

 The Panhandle NF provided the Grouse Mountain Trail project where the ITA crew constructed an eighteen foot long bridge, three hundred feet of newly constructed trail for the bridge approaches, eighteen feet of puncheon and removal of four large boulders from the trail tread. This project was funded through REI and ITA fund raising activities and membership.

The Sawtooth NF, Alice-Toxaway project was a highlight of the season.  Six ITA volunteers spent five days in the Sawtooth Wilderness clearing over thirty miles of trail on one of the most popular loops in the Wilderness.  The ITA crew also worked on cleaning camps and naturalizing overused sites. This week long session was funded through a grant from the Sawtooth Society.

Toxaway
ALICe LAke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boise BLM Bruneau Field Office has been a great partner to work with in the Owyhee Canyonlands and Wilderness areas.  They have provided early and late season opportunities for volunteers to get out and help. We have removed wire fence, decommissioned roads and built new trail along with reconstructing existing trails in amazing country is always a big draw for volunteers.  Roberson Trail in the Owyhee Wilderness has become an annual event on National Trails Day for ITA.  This project brings in large numbers of volunteers who work at multiple projects to help with the stewardship of this area.  This Owyhee project was been funded through grants from REI.

Roberson trail2Roberson trail

 Roberson Trail Owyhee Wilderness          Photos courtesy of Bryan Dufosse                     

 

 The Hum Lake Trail on the Payette NF was the inaugural ITA project in 2010.  We continued to work on this trail as an overnight project working to help reopen the North Fork of Lick Creek trail.  We have added day work parties to this trail as it has become a very popular volunteer opportunity.  This project is funded by REI and the USFS and volunteer pack support from BD Recreation Consultants.

Hum lake sumitDuck lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Public Lands Day brought out over 50 volunteers to do stewardship work in and outside the Owyhee Wilderness.  During this project in the Owyhee Canyonlands the skills of future trail bosses were discovered.  This young man was part of a “Toddler Brigade” who helped remove baseball sized rocks from the trail tread.  He and 6 other youth were supervised by two parents who instructed the brigade in how to remove rocks without hurting or throwing them at anyone.  The brigade was a success!  It was hard to get past the group at the end of the day as everyone had to hear and see what a great job they did, and they did do a great job!

Future trail boss

Future Trail Boss

The Future:                                                                                                                 

The classic one day work party:  As ITA grows we are getting more requests from the agencies for single day work parties to work on trails close to population hubs.  These work parties have been funded by REI and the land management agencies, however future funding opportunities need to be pursued.

 Large volunteer projects provide challenges because of the need to ensure ITA has enough qualified crew leads to manage the volunteers are available.  Recruiting other passionate crew leaders will be important for future expansion and success.

ITA prides itself in teaching safety and completing the best quality trail work while also working towards creating supporters and stewards of our public lands. We may not knock out a project as fast as a contractor or force account crew, but the quality should be the same, and the potential of creating lifelong supporters of public lands is great.  This goal is important for future partner relationships.

 

Our Message:

ITA is a hiking, trail advocacy and stewardship group. We formed to provide the voice for hikers throughout the state.  Our role is to get work done and to develop strong stewards of the land who are informed and educated enough to provide support to land management agencies and continuing this goal is important.

ITA is proud to teach and promote traditional skills while accomplishing trail work.  We feel it is a needed and necessary way to safely engage the public into volunteer stewardship to help our public lands.  ITA promotes these traditional skills to provide the training and understanding that work can be accomplished safely and efficiently in this manner.

ITA has a goal to safely engage the public in stewardship activities, by doing this we hope to build a more accepting and supportive public who will enjoy recreating and participating in the future of our public lands.

 Our Thanks:

 To REI, Sawtooth Society, Agency Partners, volunteers, members, contributors, Board of Directors and Advisory Board for their time, energy, leadership and monetary contributions.

 

2015 Work Parties

We have lots of great volunteer projects coming up! To sign up early for one of these projects email intern@idahotrailsassociation.org. In the email make sure to reference the project(s) you want to sign up for. After you sign-up, an ITA representative will be in touch. Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the ITA!

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February’s Cooking tip!

Are you looking for a way to carry your cooking/olive oils in the backcountry? Well Steve found the perfect container!  He reuses the containers from the popular drink Zip Fizz. These containers are a 2 Tbsp. cylinder that work great for carrying oils in the backcountry!

zipp fizz

 

 

 

 

http://www.zipfizz.com/

Tip from Steve Weston, Author of In The Wild Chef: Recipes From Base camp to Summit

 

First 2015 Project of the year! Oolite Interpretive Trail, Owyhees!

Ready to start the 2015 trail season with a Dig?  January 24th we will be partnering with

the Bruneau Field Office of the BLM to work on the Oolite Interpretive Trail in the Owyhees.  Oolite Trail Project

Project Details:

Shoofly Oolite interpretive site trail:  This is an interesting area to stop along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway to take a short hike.  We would maintain and widen the 0.5 miles of trail from parking area to the Oolite mineral deposit cliffs where kids and adults explore the small arches, rare plants, and tiny fossils.  We also need to beautify the parking area by removing some wire fencing and constructing a more people inviting wood hiker maze at trailhead.

When:

January 24, 2015.  Meet at 9am at the Boise BLM parking lot (3948 S Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705) to carpool or 10:15 at the Shoofly Oolite Site.   Return to Boise by 3pm or end of project about 2pm.

Where:

This is about an hour and a half drive from Boise.  It is South of Mountain Home and Grandview, Idaho on the Mud Flat Road.  From Boise take the Simco Exit and drive to highway 167 and on to Grandview.  Then turn east on Highway 78 to the Mud Flat Turnoff where you will turn south and drive to the Shoofly-Oolite Trailhead, just past the Shoofly Cutoff road.

Update: The ITA/BLM will be providing hot dogs, buns and condiments for lunch. We will also have drinking water available, but bring your favorite drink or snacks if you would like something additional or different.

Please sign up here:

Thank you project volunteers! We currently have 30 total signed up for this project and we appreciate the interest and enthusiasm. However, this is all we can accommodate on this project, so we have closed the signups.

Thanks for your interest and please keep watching for future ITA Projects!

 

 

Alice-Toxaway Crown Jewels

This was our second year helping maintain the Alice-Toxaway Loop in the Sawtooth Wilderness. We worked for a week with some guidace from the USFS and were able to cut out 24 downed logs and carry out work  on 247 water bars, either cleaning them out or installing new ones. In total, we were able to maintain roughly 22 miles of trail, including the Alice-Toxaway Loop and several trails that branch off the loop. A big thank you to our volunteers who committed a total of 273 hours and REI Boise for funding this project! Read on to hear about our 2013 Alice-Toxaway project from project leader Josh Wheeler.

Group Photo

This last July was my second trip to the Sawtooths with ITA and it was again, amazing. The heat was a bit stifling at times but the views make up for any momentary discomfort! We camped at the far side of Toxaway Lake, close enough to take a dip after a hard days work, but removed from the trail to have time to relax and enjoy a good meal. This year, like last, we had the great pleasure of spending the week with one of Mystic Saddles outfitters, Randy, who prepared and cooked every meal. Amazing!

Working the crosscut

The highlight for me each year has been the new relationships. I’m a people person and enjoy being able to talk, share stories, and swing a pulaski together. I was able to bring my son this year and show him how amazing the wilderness is, but also how we can’t take it for granted. I hope through this to teach him that it’s equally important to give back to the trails after spending many years using them.

Teaching tomorrow's leaders the value of our wild places

I have a whole new respect for the work that goes into maintaining our trail systems here in Idaho. And I believe ITA has and will continue to have an important role in keeping several of our Idaho trails maintained and beautiful, and I’m glad to be playing a small role in that.

Josh Wheeler, Boise

Sawtooths, what a view!

Pistol Creek Trail Project – Rock Stars

July 7th-14th was one of the hottest weeks of the summer. Despite the sweltering heatr, several volunteers gathered to help maintain the Pistol Creek Trail in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. They arrived and started setting up their camp. Their meals were prepared by the Backcountry Horsemen. With the objective to clear brush, deadfall, and repair tread, they did just that.

Working eight-hour days, they contributed a combined 208 hours of volunteer service. Volunteers maintained 11 miles of trail and cleared an astonishing 129 logs and trees from the trail!

With all that hard work, what else could they have possibly done? Well, this group was a bunch of rock stars.  They also spent time cleaning 20 waterbars and installed 7 new ones.  But that is not all! They also constructed a 20-foot cribwall, inventoried 1 acre of weeds, and removed a campfire ring.

A BIG thank you to all the Pistol Creek Volunteers and Debra Ellers, our our project leader for all the hard work they put into this project! The numbers show their commitment to trails and future trail users.

The Idaho Trails Association also wants to thank the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation for their financial support and trail crew leadership.
 


 

 

Scotchman Peak

Description

Stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille, the Cabinet Mountains, and the Selkirk Mountains await you on top of Bonner County’s tallest peak. Hikers will likely find company at the top, where mountain goats negotiate rock outcroppings and steep cliffs.

From the trailhead, the route begins relentlessly uphill for the first mile until reaching the first set of switchbacks.  At that point, the grade becomes more bearable. About two-thirds of the way up, the trail passes through a large hillside meadow, with stunning views of Lake Pend Orielle and the Clark Fork River Valley.  The trail eventually intercepts the ridge and follows it to the summit.  Follow cairns and other indicators through the talus.

The Scotchman Peaks are inhabited by grizzly bears and mountain goats.  Hikers are advised to take special precautions to reduce the risk of negative bear encounters.  Please do not feed the mountain goats or any other wild animals.  Feeding wild animals may result in serious injury or death.

Distance

3.5 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain

3,700 feet

Directions

Take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint) and in downtown Clark Fork turn north at the Chevron Station.  Go past the school and continue up Mosquito Creek Road #276.  Go past the (former) Clark Fork Field Campus to the junction of Road #2294.  Turn right and go a little over a mile.  Watch for signs for trail #65. Turn left on road 2294A.  Follow this road a little over a mile to where it ends at the trailhead.

Maps

Forest Service: Kaniksu National Forest

USGS Quad(s): Clark Fork NE

Maintenance Report

No information.

Land Status

The Scotchman Peaks are a proposed wilderness area.

Guidebooks

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers (2nd Edition, 2003)

Trails of the Wild Cabinets By Dennis Nicholls with Jim Mellen (2nd Edition, 2008)