Looking Ahead and Backwards in the age of Covid

Outdoor Idaho enters its 39th season on October 14th of 2021 with a show entitled "Salmon Reckoning." It's a deep dive into the latest effort to save Idaho's salmon runs from extinction. During the age of Covid we have explored some really diverse topics, with titles like "Sawtooths On My Mind," "Trailblazers," Urban Wildlife," "Barns of Idaho," "Idaho's 12ers," and "Off the Beaten Path." Here's a short description of several of the shows we're currently working on, as well as some of our more recent productions.

Salmon Reckoning (aired October 14, 2021) OUTDOOR IDAHO began its 39th season with a comprehensive look at Congressman Mike Simpson’s Salmon Proposal, involving the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams located in the state of Washington.

Producers Forrest Burger, Aaron Kunz, and Bruce Reichert spent part of the summer interviewing people on all sides of this controversial issue.

You can watch a 60 second promo here.

(Photo by Alex Borbely)

Spud Country... (will air in December of 2021) There's a culture that has grown up around eastern Idaho potatoes; some schools even let students out for a week in late September to work on the harvest.

This culture may be unlike anything else in the state. What are the traditions? What is the fall harvest like? What sorts of problems do farmers face… with water, with marketing and competition, with seeds and disease? The list goes on and on. And it's not all about spuds.

We'll explore this major part of the state in a way that hopefully proves interesting to all Idahoans. Lauren Melink has been handling lead-producer duties on this one.

(Photo by Kris Millgate)

Another Roadside Attraction... (will air in 2022). Every state has em -- fascinating, quirky attractions that capture the imagination and say something interesting about their part of the world.

We are currently scouring the country-side for these unique attractions, usually associated with rural Idaho.

A recent visit to Idaho's "Mammoth Cave & Shoshone Bird Museum Of Natural History" made us realize that these quirky places can also be historically and culturally significant, as well as just plain fun!

If you know of other Roadside Attractions, don't hesitate to notify us. Thanks!

(Photos by Bruce Reichert)

Breaking Boundaries... (will air in 2022). We will profile Idahoans with physical challenges who still love to access the outdoors. Some of these unique athletes are re-learning how to ski for the first time since experiencing the accident or illness that caused their disability. Others are learning to traverse grass, gravel and other areas with the help of a one-of-a-kind wheelchair. Still others are learning how to enjoy a climbing wall.

Marcia Franklin will be following more of these extraordinary athletes this year. So if you know a person who enjoys an adaptive sport and whose story could be included, please let us know!

(Photos by Marcia Franklin)

Changing of the Guard… (will air in March of 2022). This is a show still in the conceptual stage. We hope to examine new land and wildlife management practices within the Forest Service, the BLM, and other federal agencies. We’ll examine changes occurring in rural Idaho, with the explosion of outdoor recreation and the exodus to the city. We’ll talk to the “old guard” and the “new guard,” as folks assess the future of the state. Still looking for ideas, so if anything crosses your mind, be sure to let us know.

(Painting of Campbell's Ferry in the Salmon River wilderness by Link Jackson. New ownership to this in-holding offers a glimpse into what's involved with a changing of the guard.)

Off the Beaten Path... (aired in March of 2021) With this hour-long program, our goal was to literally stay away from crowds during the pandemic. That took us to some difficult-to-access, inspiring places... like the harsh and forbidding Bruneau Canyon in the south and imposing Chimney Rock in the north.

We also visited some not-to-be-named lakes in the Sawtooths that are "protected" by a steep mountain and no trail. And we stopped off at some cedar groves, a national grasslands area, and a bay that is best reached by canoe. All in all, about ten places that are fun to visit from the comfort of your living room chair.

Various staff worked on this one, including producer Lauren Melink and videographer Jay Krajic. Also assisting were Marcia Franklin, Kris Millgate, and Bruce Reichert.

(Photo of Bruneau Canyon by Lauren Melink)

Barns of Idaho... (The half hour version aired October 15, 2020; the hour-long version aired in March of 2021.)

Who doesn't love a barn! And Idaho has lots of em. Many are in some degree of decay. Others are being renovated in some pretty interesting ways. And some barns have always been in service to farmers and ranchers throughout the state.

Producer Forrest Burger examined how barns helped shape our landscape, what’s being done to preserve them, and how some Idaho barns have been re-purposed to give them new lives.

Our hour-long tribute to Idaho's barns explored how some of these deteriorating structures have been saved. As for those beyond saving, how their wood is repurposed.

The half hour version was the first show of our 38th season. You can watch it here.

(Photo by Patty Pickett)

Idaho's 12ers... (aired December 6, 2020) There are people who love to climb mountains, particularly ones that are more than 12,000 feet high. In fact, there are now trails to the top of some of Idaho's 12ers that didn't exist even a few years ago.

Most of Idaho's nine 12,000 foot peaks are in the Lost River Range; Borah Peak is the leader of the pack, at 12, 662 feet. Here's the first 3 minutes of the hour-long show.

Producer Bill Manny and videographer Jay Krajic have climbed them all, along with our volunteer extraordinaire Terry 'The Mule' Lee. They say it was hard keeping up with climbers as young as 6 and 9 who have already summitted them all. Yikes!

You can find the hour-long "Idaho's 12ers" on this page.

(Photo of Borah Peak by Tim Tower)

Sawtooths on My Mind... (aired March 2020) What do the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho mean to us? We explored this question in March of 2020 with those who visited, and with those who live and work in the shadow of these magnificent peaks. We examined some of the challenges facing Idaho's most popular mountain range; and we got deep into the Sawtooth Wilderness, so we're proud of the footage on this one.

You can watch the entire hour long show here  and you can check out this short clip of some of the interesting people we met on the trail while shooting.

(Photo of Sawtooth Lake by Bruce Reichert)

Women Who Hunt (aired May 13, 2021) The show is a thought-provoking look at what drives a person to hunt. And as it turns out, there are a lot more reasons than simply... meat. The show follows the stories of six female hunters across the state, as we hike through snow, scramble across rocky terrain, watch bird dogs work, and track animals. From elk calling to target shooting, we learn how and why these women entered the world of hunting.

Produced by Lauren Melink and edited by Troy Shreve, the show might just make you look at hunters in a new light.

Trailblazers... (aired May 2020) Long gone are the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the army of laborers shipped around the country during the Great Depression as our nation's work relief program. The government paid them to build trails, parks and recreation areas; and we still use many of them today.

But public lands trails need to be maintained, or they simply disappear. And some of the trails are doing just that. Luckily, Idahoans are filling the gap... for free. They are this century's CCC. We call them Trailblazers.

Our eastern Idaho producer, Kris Millgate was the lead on this one, ably assisted by editor and videographer Jay Krajic.

You can watch the half hour "Trailblazers" here.

(Photo by Kris Millgate)

Urban Wildlife... (aired July 2020) It's understandable that wildlife prefer our neighborhoods at certain times of the year. And that's not always a good thing -- for them or for us. We asked our Facebook and Instagram friends to send us video of the interactions with deer and elk, cougars and wolves, geese, ducks, skunks, etc. And, they obliged.

Our new producer, Lauren Melink, tackled this show, ably assisted by production manager Aaron Kunz who handled the editing duties. The show aired July 16th 2020. You can watch it online here.

(Photo by Kevin Kaiser)

Our YouTube Channel... Along with producing shows for broadcast, Outdoor Idaho has been producing short pieces for our new YouTube channel, ably managed by Lauren Melink.

Our channel is rapidly becoming popular, with many subscribers and thousands of views. The video collection includes some older Outdoor Idaho shows, some compilation pieces, some upcoming show teases. There are even web exclusives: pieces made specifically for our YouTube channel and our YouTube channel only.

The number of subscribers can only go up from here, so keep sharing those videos and maybe one day we’ll go viral!

Our Facebook and Instagram Pages... Our social media presence extends to our Outdoor Idaho Facebook page and our Instagram page as well. Emily Bruneel shepherds the Instagram page, and Bruce Reichert handles the Facebook page duties.

Be sure to check out both pages, where you'll find lots of amazing photos and interesting updates, as well as a monthly photo contest that attracts thousands of viewers each month.