Posts Tagged ‘In The News’

Botanical Survey Recruitment

Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2013

PaintbrushThe Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness are partnering with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to conduct botanical surveys during the 2013 summer field season.  Our efforts will focus on the Lightening Creek Complex, recently identified as one of only ten “Treasured Landscapes” proposed across the United States.  These surveys are the first of a series of steps to help restore this incredible area.  We need volunteer assistance to identify and monitor noxious weed encroachment along area trails, as well as to help in high alpine surveying for white bark pine occurrence and habitat suitability.  There will be several survey dates throughout June, July and August, including both day-long surveys, continuous trail monitoring, and extended backpacking excursions.  In addition, plant identification training and survey methods training will be provided by the USFS early in June to prepare volunteers for quality survey output.  This is a great opportunity to get out and improve the state of our wildlands for wildlife, water quality, recreation opportunities, and overall ecosystem health!  Interested?  Please fill out our Application for Plant Surveying (below) and we will contact you with greater detail.  Volunteers make it happen!!!

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Join in Idaho Gives May 2nd!

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
IMG_1699It is not just an event, its a movement. And its going to be huge!  On May 2nd, The Idaho Nonprofit Center conducts its first ever, one-day online fundraising event Idaho Gives! for nonprofit organizations across Idaho. From 12:01am -11:59pm, a share of every dollar you donate has the potential to be multiplied many times over thanks to generous contest prizes and matching awards given throughout the day.  Excited already?  Us too!  Go ahead and follow this link to The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness to make a  donation scheduled to be credited to the drive’s 24-hour time slot.  There has never been a better time than now to give the gift of wilderness to your friends and family!

Trails Skills Course Offered May 10th-12th

Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

ccsawThe Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness are now accepting registrations for our 2013 Trail Skills Course. This course is designed to enhance your understanding of backcountry trails maintenance projects and to offer you skills to draw from in case of a medical emergency in the backcountry. This is a two-session, 4-module course consisting of a one-day Crosscut and Chainsaw Use module, a two-day Trails Building module, an evening CPR Certification module, and a two-day Wilderness First Aid Training module.  Participation in the Trails Maintenance session 1 is required to be eligible for the First Aid session 2.  We are offering this course free to our volunteers, with meals and campground sites provided during session 1.  We ask that after receiving this training, participants commit to serving as a volunteer hike leader or project leader for the Friends twice over the course of the next two years.

Session 1:  Crosscut/Chainsaw Use and Trails Building

This half of the course is scheduled for May 10th through May 12th.  It will be held at the Bull River Campground on the Kootenai National Forest.  The Crosscut/Chainsaw Use module will take place on Friday, May 10th, from 10:00-4:30.  This module will be led by the USFS and will cover Chainsaw and Crosscut Saw operation, maintenance, and safety.  The Trails Building module is a two-day module, from 8:30am until 4:30pm for both May 11th and May 12th.  It will be conducted by the Montana Trails Association (MTA) and includes topics such as trail project logistics and trail classification and maintenance.   Campgrounds and meals will be provided for this session!

Session 2:  CPR Certification and Wilderness First Aid

            This half of the course is scheduled during the last week of June, and is being offered at two time slots, June 24th- June 26th, and June 28th-June 30th.  It is will be held at the WaterLife Discovery Center near Sandpoint, ID.  The CPR course is a short evening course where participants may receive current certification for CPR.  The Wilderness First Aid training is a two-day module (exact times TBA) and will prepare volunteers to address first aid emergencies in the backcountry.  This session will be conducted by Longleaf Wilderness Medicine.  Participants will need transportation and bagged lunches.

To register and reserve your spot for these events, please fill out the form below.  Registration deadline is May 7th, 2013.

Trail Skills Course Volunteer Registration Form

Thank you for your interest in our Trails Skills Course! This is a two-day course covering four modules, attendance of all sessions is not required but encouraged! Campsites can be reserved at no-cost by indicating your camping preferences in the appropriate spot below.
  • Please read our Volunteer Liability Waver and check off in the box below indicating you have done so and agree.
  • Please list the full name and phone number of a contact who may help in case of an emergency.
  • Please list any medical conditions you have currently. Examples include bad back, hypertension, diabetic, etc. This information will not be shared but may be critical in the case of an emergency.
  • Include all allergies known, including environmental, food, or medication allergies, and what you do for treatment of allergic reactions.
  • Please list any medications you are currently taking.
  • Please select all the training modules you will be attending
  • FSPW will be providing campfire entertainment Saturday evening. If you would like us to reserve a campsite for you, please indicate here.

If you have further questions regarding this course and its details, please email them to

Thank you for your participation in this fun and educational training event!


Movie project moves toward completion.

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness is helping to produce a movie about our grassroots effort to gain protection for the Scotchman Peaks. Two years ago we hosted three young film makers from Muhlenberg College who made a movie about our “Plein Air Art” project, combining Wilderness and the Arts. It’s been well received. In fact, Jake Glass, received one of the prestigious “Brower Youth Awards” from the Earth Island Institute for his work on that film and their next project “Grass-Routes”, the film about our grass roots effort to protect the Scotchman Peaks. We anticipate that the finished documentary will be about 30 minutes long and complete sometime in February.  Trailers for  ”Grass-Routes” can be seen:

In order to complete “Grass-Routes”, the film makers returned this summer to shoot additional interviews including some great footage of the collaborative work we are doing, with powerful interviews of Bob Boeh (Idaho Forest Group) and Tim Lindsay (Revett Mining) and and their support for our wilderness proposal.  It was while they were here filming that Jake learned he had been selected to receive a Brower Youth Award for the film project, so the Earth Island Institute sent out a professional film team to film Jake and Jacob filming us!  The 5 minute video they produced about Jake and our movie project can be viewed at:

This video will appear on National Geo and Sundance cable networks in the near future, adding to the exposure for the final film and make it more likely to get accepted into one of the film festivals that the film makers are entering. The film makers will be showing it to various groups in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and other places back east. Our own plans include showcasing this film at events we hold throughout northern Idaho, Western Montana and Eastern Washington. We will be working with our conservation partners to get the film shown across Idaho, Washington and Montana and we will hope to get some use of it at national conservation conventions.

We are seeking out sponsors to be listed in the film credits. “This film made possible in part by the following ……” There are several levels, but for business logos we are suggesting $500 – which will be good exposure for the sponsoring organizations/business.  There are some other sponsor perks – a DVD, tickets to the premier etc. Full sponsorship details at

Thank you for your interest in this exciting project.  We are hoping to wrap up a list of the sponsors by the end of January, so let me know if you have any questions and what level you would be interested in participating!

A night at the (FSPW) movies is on for March 14 and 16.

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013

It’s the world premier of Grass Routes, the movie about the wilderness group that does things differently. The show will be at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint on Thursday, March 14. Doors at 6, show at 7. Learn about the place Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness advocates for and also about how they go about it.You will also get a chance to meet film makers Joe Foster and Jake Glass.

Grass Routes is the second film about the Scotchman Peaks from Wildman Pictures. Their first film was En Plein Air, the story of the annual FSPW “extreme plein air” expedition to paint the interior of the West Cabinets. Released in January of 2011, En Plein Air first demonstrated the genius of Wildman principals Glass, Foster and Matt Stauble, who captured the adventure as well as the place and people it encompassed. Foster and Glass, who was also a 2012 recipient of a Brower Youth Award, returned to finish filming and interviews for Grass Routes in the summer of 2012 and have created an illuminating and entertaining film about a spectacular place and the somewhat unique methods that FSPW is using to obtain permanent protection. “What makes the Friends unique,” Foster says, “is that they have built a coalition of Friends that spans political, social, cultural and physical borders and brings together folks and organizations which are not traditional allies.”

Both films will be shown at the Panida on March 14, as well as on Saturday, March 16 at the Rex Theater in Thompson Falls at 2 p.m.and at the Little Theater in Libby at 6 p.m on.

Friends of Scotchman Peaks repeats as Zoo Boise Conservation Fund grant candidate finalist.

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Each fall, Zoo Boise Conservation Fund narrows a big field of animal research grant applicants down to nine, and then lets the public vote on which of them to fund. Last year, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness wolverine study proposal got more votes than any other proposal. In response, the Fund awarded FSPW $27,000 to assist Idaho Department of Fish and Game in a rare carnivore study that stretched from the Selkirk Mountains across the Panhandle and into the Scotchman Peaks and Montana. Now, FSPW has been nominated again, and are calling on all of their Friends and friends of Friends to visit the Zoo Boise web site and vote for this year’s proposal.


This lynx was one of the most exciting finds of the 2011-12 Rare Carnivor Study funded by the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund

“We have a big opportunity to keep the field work on this study rolling along,” says FSPW Executive Director Phil Hough. “Fish and Game will not be able to put as much effort into the field as they did last year, so it’s doubly important that FSPW continues the data stream we started working on with them two years ago.”

The first year of the study, 2010-11, was marked by a modest study involving just a few camera stations that caught an amazing variety of critters, but particularly rare forest carnivores; martins, fishers, ermine, bobcats, and even a wolverine and a lynx. “We started small,” says Sandy Compton, FSPW program coordinator, “but the volunteer response was amazing. Lots of people were interested in getting involved with setting up and monitoring the camera stations.”

With that encouragement, Hough wrote the grant proposal for the 2011-12 season, and it was the top vote getter of the 9 finalists. With the grant in hand, FSPW bought two dozen-plus top-grade Reconix cameras and all the other accoutrements to set up monitoring stations, and hired Kelsey Brasseur for 30 hours a week to be project coordinator. Brasseur, with a Bachelor’s in Biology and fresh off of a summer of marine research in Glacier Bay, Alaska, started in November and very ably ran the project through the first of April.

“Kelsey was a great fit for the job,” Compton says, “but, boy, did she have her hands full.”

Brasseur and Friends of Scotchman Peaks, partnered with Idaho Conservation League (ICL) and Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education (SOLE), took primary responsibility for more than 40 stations, and, before it was over, fielded over 140 volunteers, all of which Brasseur had to keep track of. But, the payoff was huge. The “citizen science” initiative yielded thousands of pictures of rare forest carnivores — not to mention squirrels, rabbits, moose, deer and wolves — as well as hundreds of hair samples destined for DNA analysis. It also led to being invited to apply again to the Conservation Fund.

“When we wrote the grant, we asked for just a little less this year than last,” Hough said. “We have much of the equipment to continue the study, and will partner with ICL and SOLE again, but we budgeted for a full time project coordinator.”

Will it happen? “It will if we can mobilize our Friends base to go vote for us on the Zoo Boise site,” says Compton. “We have until October 28 to get votes in, so vote early and often.”

To vote, go to

Friends of Scotchman Peaks posts stewardship, education and hike lineups for 2012.

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Educational opportunities, hikes and trail projects on three ranger districts highlight Friends’ summer.

National Trails Day is Saturday, June 2, and Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness are sponsoring three National Trails Day events, including a dog-friendly walk on Regal Creek Trail on June 2. Hike leader Phil Hough, executive director of FSPW, will lead this moderate foray into the proposed wilderness on the east side of Lightning Creek north of Clark Fork, Idaho ,as the first of a series of volunteer-led hikes that will culminate on the 23rd of September with a hike up Scotchman.

Following immediately on the heels of Hough’s moderate-rated Regal Creek hike is an easy-rated hike on Sunday, June 3, at Ross Creek Cedars, led by FSPW board member Carol Jenkins and her husband Irv.

In June, FSPW also offers four educational outings, two of which are National Trails Day events. Saturday, June 9, Brian Baxter teaches an old growth ecology class, beginning at 9 Pacific time with a classroom session at the Heron Community Center before transitioning to Ross Creek Cedars. On June 30, Baxter teaches a riparian ecology class following the same format. Baxter, principal of Silver Cloud Associates of Libby, is a wildlife biologist with extensive knowledge of tracking, animal behavior and ecology who has spent several years in remote areas studying mustelids, and teaches for the Glacier Institute .

“Brian’s a great teacher in the classroom or field,” says Hough. “He’s funny, engaging and very knowledgeable about life in the wild.”

Another outdoor education specialist, Dennison Webb of Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education, will teach a Leave-No-Trace class on Saturday, June 16, in the Lightning Creek area. This is a class geared toward youth and parents and will include rehabilitation work on a campsite along Lightning Creek.

Kootenai National Forest archeologist Rachel Reckin fills out the FSPW Educational Hike Series. On June 30, Reckin leads a hike focused on Native American presence in and use of the Spar Creek drainage on the east side of the proposed wilderness.

In July, August and September, hiking and stewardship opportunities in the Scotchmans abound, including volunteer-led hikes to Little Spar Lake, Star Peak, Sawtooth Mountain and Scotchman Peak — the hard way. Trail restoration, reclamation and maintenance projects are scheduled for all of the three ranger districts the Scotchmans lie in, including work on the Little Spar Lake Trail in the Three Rivers District, Morris Creek Trail on the Sandpoint District and Blacktail Creek and Eddy Creek Trails on the Cabinet District. The Eddy Creek Trail project is a major reconstruction of a historic tread that once led to Star Peak lookout.

“This is a really exciting project,” said Sandy Compton, FSPW program coordinator, “for which we have four days set aside. Sunday, July 8 is our kickoff, and then we have workdays on July 20, August 3 and August 17. This trail, when finished, will be one of the most spectacular on the Kootenai National Forest.”

The hikes, education opportunities and stewardship projects, along with contact information and more full descriptions are listed on the Scotchman Peaks website at To learn more, write to summer project coordinator Bonnie Jakobs at

Who will be the 2012 Old Goat! Find out May 26th.

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

State of the Scotchmans, fun and educational summer hikes, and historic stewardship projects!

First thing first. At 4:00, Saturday, May 26, we gather at Oden Communnity Hall (here’s a map) for our annual State of the Scotchmans meeting. Bring a dish to share, a favorite beverage and dinner service. Find out who our 2012 Old Goat award goes to, help honor some of our other valiant volunteers and get the lowdown of the search for wolverines from Michael Lucid, Idaho Fish and Game Biologist. You might even meet our 4,00th friend!

We will also introduce our summer project coordinator, John Bauer. His first day on the job is May 24, and we are pleased and privileged to welcome him to the Scotchman Peaks. John brings a huge amount of experience in stewardship and volunteer coordination with him to the job.

Looking ahead to summer, our hike and stewardship series is ready for viewing.

We will celebrate National Trails Day three ways this summer, first with man’s best friend on the Regal Creek Trail on June 2, then with Brian Baxter-led classes on June 9 and June 30, Old Growth and Riparian Ecology respectively. Dennison Webb of Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education will lead a Leave-No-Trace hike for kids on June 16, and Forest Service archeologist Rachel Reckin will teach fellow hikers about Native American uses of the Spar Creek area on June 30.

Rachel is also a driving force behind one of our most exciting stewarship projects of the summer. Thanks to her, on July 31 and August 1, the Forest Service’s Nine-Mile Mule Team will be hauling restoration supplies to the historic Star Peak lookout. We are seeking a very limited number of volunteers (only five per day) to help with packing and unpacking as well as catch a glimpse of how the Forest Service moved materials in the beginning days of the agency.

Speaking of Star Peak, we begin rebuilding the historic Star Peak trail on the west side of Eddy Creek with a kickoff work day on Sunday July 8. This is a great opportunity for Friends to help restore the tread that originally led to the lookout. Further work days will be Fridays, July 20 and August 3 and 17th.

Assuredly, we have plenty of recreation, education and stewardship events in store, more than we can fit into this message. Visit our website for regular updates and learn how to sign up to take a hike, lead a hike, swing a pulaski, pack a mule or learn about our beautiful wild Scotchmans!