Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Clandestine Soak at Kirkham Hot Springs

Climbing through the last crevice after scrambling over slick rocks, I entered a new world. Steam swirled all around obstructing my view of anything solid. Rock formations took on ethereal shapes. The river rushed by to my right, adding its own voice to the scenario. The wind briefly swept by, momentarily wiping away the steam and mist. Before me a beautiful landscape stood exposed. I basked in the beauty of Kirkham Hot springs. Snow began to fall lightly dusting my hair and jacket, melting as it met with the heated spring air. Hot water tumbled over age old boulders filling the crystal clean pool. The temperature was a bit too warm for me, almost, clocking in between 109 -106 degrees. Nevertheless, an excellent soak was still to be had. Kirkham Hot Springs is located in the Boise National Forest shortly beyond Lowman, ID. In the summer months camping spots are sometimes available. The pools are under night time closure year round due to behavior unbecoming of my fellow hot-springers. You can be seen from the road above, so swim wear is highly recommended, and required in the spring/summer months. As always, when partaking in the glories of Mother Nature, tread lightly, silently, and leave her in better shape than you found her.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Call to Action!

If there has ever been a time when we need to unite and speak up, that time is now. Idaho's roadless areas are on the chopping block once again (or still depending on how you look at it). Anyone and everyone who appreciates the wilderness, or wants it to be around for future generations, please take part and submit your comments. When we unite as one our voice may be heard!

The following is an email from the Idaho Conservation League. This decision effects not only Idaho residents, but the entire nation. I urge you to take a stand and speak out. I will be at the Boise rally on February 28. Hope to see you there!

Dear Friends (Please spread this email widely)-

The Forest Service has released a Draft Plan that threatens to allow new roads, logging, mining and other forms of harmful development in the majority of Idaho's 9.3 million acres of pristine, backcountry national forests. The proposal contradicts then-Gov. Risch's commitment to protect 95% of Idaho's roadless forests when he testified in Washington, DC in November 2006.

If you care about about ensuring that future generations of Idahoans can experience Idaho's majestic backcountry, the time is now...Let's Keep Idaho, Idaho.

We can't do it alone though, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are blessed in Idaho with over 9.3 million acres of backcountry national forest areas. With one of the fastest growing populations in the country, Idaho's rugged, natural areas are becoming more important for preserving opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing and our way of life.

In 2001, protections were developed to protect all remaining national forest roadless areas around the country. That rule REMAINS THE LAW OF THE LAND.

In September 2006, then-Governor Jim Risch petitioned the Forest Service to allow for some development in Idaho's pristine forests. In November 2006, he "clarified" that he was willing to accept protections equivalent to, or stronger, than the 2001 Rule on 8.8 million acres. Now the Forest Service has developed a draft plan that would weaken protections for 7.6 million acres of Idaho's backcountry forests.

These backcountry areas are the source of Idaho's clean water, critical wildlife habitat and offer the opportunity for solitude, a dwindling resource as Idaho continues to grow.


The Forest Service will be hosting 16 public meetings across the state beginning January 22 and continuing until February 28. A FULL LIST of the meeting locations and times is attached (in PDF format) AND is pasted below in this email. It will be CRITICAL for Idahoans to show up at these meetings and voice their support for maintaining current protections for the backcountry roadless areas we cherish.

Along with a number conservation groups from across the state, we will be hosting presentations and meetings in communities around Idaho to let YOU know about the draft plan, and what YOU can do to protect these special places. If you would like more information about attending a meeting, or scheduling a meeting for any group you're involved with (fishing, hunting, conservation group, audubon, sierra club, or even a group of friends!) please contact TOM SCHWARZ at or toll-free at 877-345-6933 ext. 27. Tom will also be coordinating transportation to public meetings if you live in a community not served by one of the public meetings ( i.e. Moscow, McCall, Sandpoint).

We are also encouraging supporters to submit LETTERS TO THE EDITOR to your local paper AND the Idaho Statesman ( encouraging attendance at local meetings and raising concerns with the draft plan.

Finally, please make sure to EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS to

You can get more information, points to comment on, the Draft Idaho Roadless Rule, the Draft environmental analysis, and links to more at

You can also get load of info at

Thanks you for your support!

Jonathan Oppenheimer
Senior Conservation Associate
Idaho Conservation League
PO Box 844, Boise, ID 83701
208. 345.6942 x26
Fax 208.344.0344
Cell: 208.867.3505

The Idaho Conservation League preserves Idaho's clean water, wilderness and quality of life.



January 22, 2007
Bonners Ferry
Kootenai River Inn
7169 Plaza St. Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
7:00 PM

January 23, 2007
Coeur d' Alene
Kootenai CountyCourthouse
451 Government Way Rm 1A/1B
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83816
6:00 PM

January 24, 2007
ID Dept. of Healthy and Welfare Office
35 Wildcat Way
Kellogg, ID 83837
6:00 PM

January 28, 2007
Clearwater County Courthouse
150 Michigan Avenue
Orofino, ID 83544
7:00 PM

January 29, 2007
Red Lion Hotel
621 21st Street
Lewiston, ID 83501
7:00 PM

January 30, 2007
Super 8 Motel
801 SW 1st Street
Grangeville, ID 83530
7:00 PM

February 11, 2007
Brooklyn Annex
200 Fulton
Salmon, ID 83467
7:00 PM

February 12, 2007
Custer County Courthouse
Main Street
Challis, ID 83226
7:00 PM

February 13, 2007
Blaine County Courthouse
206 South 1st Avenue, Ste 200
Hailey, ID 83333
7:00 PM

February 14, 2007
Mackay City Hall
203 S. Main Street
Mackay, ID 83251
7:00 PM

February 20, 2007
Idaho Falls
Shilo Inn
Grand Teton Rm
780 Lindsey Blvd
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
6:00 PM

February 21, 2007
Holiday Inn
1399 Bench Road
Pocatello, ID 83201
6:00 PM

February 25, 2007
Valley County
219 N. Main Street
Cascade, ID 83611
7:00 PM

February 26, 2007
Adams County Courthouse
201 Industrial Ave Council, ID 83612
7:00 PM

February 27, 2007
Twin Falls
Twin Falls City Council Chambers
305 3rd Avenue East
Twin Falls, ID 83301
7:00 PM

February 28, 2007
Boise City Hall
150 N Capitol Blvd Boise, ID 83702
7:00 PM

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year Brings New Escapades

As 2008 begins our eyes, ears, and minds are flooded with the message of resolutions. What are we going to do this year to improve ourselves and our quality of life? I am viewing this new year as an opportunity and a challenge to have as many adventures as possible. I want to explore new regions, climb mountains, backpack the FCRNRW, and all the while refocus on my writing. I yearn to discover the desert in more detail, to encounter new experiences in the forest, and all the while do what I can to protect and preserve these precious places. I anxiously await what 2008 will bring. This new year will be everything I make of it; excitement, adventure, and new challenges!