DOINews: BLM-Idaho: Skiing to Learn - Salmon Field Office Takes it Outside to Show Kids How Animals Adapt

Last edited 09/05/2019

Large group of kids sitting in the snow as they listen to IDFG staff.
Idaho Fish and Game employees explain several unique characteristics animals undergo to survive the cold harsh winters. Photo by BLM-Idaho.
Large group of kids walking around in the snow wearing snow shoes and skis.
Seventh-graders from Salmon, Idaho, eagerly put on skis and snowshoes at the Chief Joseph Ski Area trailhead to begin their trek into the mountains. Photo by BLM-Idaho.
Kids and volunteers heading down a snowy trail.
Following a well-marked trail, seventh-graders, along with several volunteers, ski and snowshoe to the Gordon-Reese Cabin to listen to a wildlife lecture from Chris Gaughan of Idaho Fish and Game. Photo by BLM-Idaho.

On Feb. 10, 2015, the BLM Salmon Field Office along with Salmon Valley Stewardship, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Bitterroot Cross-Country Ski Club took the majority of seventh-graders in Lemhi County skiing and snowshoeing. This annual event has become very popular over the years, which has resulted in an increase in numbers of partners wishing to participate. This year the partners met Salmon Middle School Science Teacher Leslie Deschaine and 48 of the school's seventh-graders at Chief Joseph Ski Area, situated atop Lost Trail Pass and managed by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The themes for the day included winter-recreation safety, recreation ethics, and wildlife-winter adaptations. The Bitterroot Ski Club graciously provided ski lessons for the students, many of whom had never skied before. Students also got a chance to snowshoe and wallow around in the deep powder. A few lucky students got to experience the rare treat of extricating themselves or a classmate from a tree well.

Skiers and snowshoers rendezvoused at the picturesque Gordon- Reese Cabin for lunch and attentively listened to a wildlife lecture from Chris Gaughan of the IDFG. After lunch each group swapped skies and snowshoes and spent the afternoon gliding and or flailing their way back to the bus.

This winter trip is in its third year as part of the BLM's Hands on the Land program. The Salmon Field Office Bureau of Land Management established a Hands on the Land site in Salmon, Idaho, in 2012. As part of establishing the Hands on the Land site, the Salmon Field Office entered into an assistance agreement with the Salmon Valley Stewardship, a Salmon-based nonprofit organization. Partnerships were developed at the Salmon high school, middle school and local outfitter shops to strengthen the Hands on Land program. The purpose for the program is to connect local youth to their public lands. This is accomplished in a number of ways, including hands-on learning experiences through an outdoor-classroom setting, formal classroom instruction, involvement in community events, and through incorporating outdoor-recreation activities.

By: BLM-Idaho

Feb. 20, 2015

Related Links:

BLM-Hands on the Land

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