Outdoor recreation has become one of the largest industries in the State of Idaho with the highest revenue generation. It is estimated that outfitters and guides have an economic output of $1.1 billion a year, and provide over 3,300 jobs. Even better, because of the remote locations of these outdoor recreation opportunities, much of this revenue is distributed throughout the most rural parts of the state.
Outfitters and guides in Idaho have been working hard to protect not only the industry that sustains them but also the wild lands on which they operate since the inception of outfitting. In 1954 guides and outfitters formed the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA). This organization helps advocate for the industry and the lands on which we operate. IOGA works with state legislators to develop some of the most rigorous standards for regulating outfitting and guiding nationwide. Dave Helfrich was one of the founding members of the IOGA and both Ken and Kelsey Helfrich have served on the IOGA Board of Directors for many years.
In mid February, Kelsey, Ken and Sadie traveled down to the Idaho Capitol to participate in “Lobby Day.” This was an opportunity to get to know many of our legislators and the governor on a personal level. Lobby day gives outfitters and guides the avenue to advocate for legislation that preserves and protects wild lands as well as the industry.
After a full day of shaking hands, and meeting with legislators the Outfitters and Guides put on a wild game feast for the folks at the capitol to show them just a bit of what we are made of. We set up on the sidewalk in downtown Boise with fire pans and dutch ovens and prepared a feast with elk, cougar, salmon, steelhead, pheasant, bison, antelope, bear and more. There is a big “wow factor” to this event with the delicious food, unique atmosphere, fun people and more. This year’s lobby day was a total success!
Learn more about the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association: http://www.ioga.org