The Idaho Conservation League’s Owyhee wilderness stewardship program partners with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which manages more than 267,000 acres of public lands in the Owyhee Canyonlands wilderness areas. This cooperative relationship helps the BLM manage this huge and remote region while giving ICL volunteers the chance to pour their love and service into self-directed projects, daylong cleanups and occasional overnights on this vast and rugged landscape.
Since this program has been implemented, volunteers have identified and mitigated cattle incursion, repaired vandalized kiosks, documented trail conditions and removed leftover fencing materials. In 2018, we are expanding our program to include eight different projects, from repairing fence lines and installing big game markers to collecting bull trout eDNA samples and monitoring river runners. We estimate 20-30 volunteers will be needed to complete these projects. The results of their work will endure for years.
How to Get Involved
Because the work we do in the Owyhee Canyonlands wildernesses is very weather-dependent, exact dates for the projects are to be determined. To get involved, review the projects below and email Lana Weber to let her know which you’d like to participate in. Stewards in this program do not need to formally apply, but do need to contact Lana to sign up! You can also join us at our informational volunteer meeting on April 24 in Boise.
2018 Wilderness Stewardship Hiking and Maintenance Projects
1) Burghardt Fence Line: Volunteers will hike the 13-mile perimeter of the Burghardt Allotment in the North Fork Owyhee Wilderness and ensure that the fence keeping livestock out of the area is in good working condition. Photo and GPS coordinate documentation will be needed for maintenance.
2) Fence Marking for Sage-grouse and Big Game: Volunteers will hike along sections of barbed wire fence and place plastic markers to make the fence more visible to wildlife. They will also document fence conditions to report needs to BLM. This is a full day opportunity.
3) Dark Sky Monitoring: Using a dark sky monitoring app, volunteers will document dark skies and GPS coordinates to be used for future dark sky designation. This volunteer opportunity requires an overnight and the cost of the app will be compensated.
4) Oolite Site Patrol: Volunteers will hike the Oolite Trail and surrounding area near Little Jacks Creek Wilderness. They will document the trail condition and note areas where improvements and/or maintenance could be done as well as take note of noticeable human impact such as fire rings and trash along the trail and cliff area. Also, they can make recommendations of possible signage en route to and on the trail. This project will take a half to full day.
5) Roberson Trail Revisit: Volunteers will hike Roberson West Trail in the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness to document the trail condition and note areas where improvements and/or maintenance could be done, document human impact, and make signage recommendations. This trip will take a full day with an option to camp overnight.
2018 Wilderness Stewardship Citizen Science Projects
1) Bruneau Phlox: Document coordinates and photograph any sign of Bruneau phlox, a wild and rare plant.
2) Bruneau eDNA: More info TBA.
2018 Wilderness Stewardship Outreach Project
1) River Monitor at Indian Creek Hot Springs: Volunteers needed to camp, greet and document river runners at the Indian Creek Hot Springs for three days over Memorial weekend.