Preserving Idaho's Treasures:
Backcountry Airstrips & Small Community Airports
The Idaho Aviation Foundation benefits general aviation in Idaho by supporting initiatives and projects designed to maintain, upgrade and develop airstrips, improve access, and promote safety at backcountry and recreational airports. Although IAF projects and grants primarily benefit general aviation users, many non-aviation outdoor enthusiasts also reap benefits from these efforts.
30th Annual Wilderness Within Reach
The Wilderness Within Reach (WWR) program celebrated its 30th anniversary with a flying expedition to the Flying B Ranch on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River July 9–11. The group consisted of 13 individuals, including Sonya Bucholz from the AdVenture program at Boise City Parks and Recreation. This year we had four individuals in wheelchairs which presented a challenge (getting them to the beach, which is about 100 yards from the main lodge). The staff at the lodge provided delicious meals and treated all with a lot of TLC. The wranglers put on an equestrian demonstration and had some of the more adventurous folks take a ride around the corral complex. Those who were able, had the opportunity to try their luck at fishing the river. Thank you so much to the Flying B crew!
Hosts from the sponsoring Idaho Aviation Foundation included Vic and Janine Jaro and Joe Corlett (instigator and manager of WWR since its' beginning). This year was organized by John Davis, who will take over the WWR program in future years. It has been quite a run for the program for the last 30 years. Aviation has been highlighted as a wonderful tool to allow access to Idaho’s most remote areas for individuals who cannot easily reach those areas due to disabilities. It is my hope that the program will continue in perpetuity
This activity would not have been possible over the years without the generosity of the pilots and other folks who have contributed to the success of WWR. Our sincere thanks go to the many air taxi operators who have continually given their support and donated the seats for these trips. These operators include SP Aircraft, McCall Aviation/AvCenter, Arnold Aviation, and Sawtooth Flying Service. Historically, we have also had help from other commercial operators, including Salmon Air Taxi, Conyan Aviation, George Dorris, and Barry Bryant. Words cannot express how much these people are appreciated. This year Jamie Boesiger flew her own C-206 into the Flying B to help with the heavy lifting for the departure. She also piloted the SP Aircraft into the ranch for the guests’ arrival. This year we dedicated the event to the memory of Tom Boyer, who was an ardent supporter of the program for over 20 years. He will be truly missed going forward.
Joe Corlett: "I also want to thank the IAF for letting me carry the ball for so many years. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life to have had the privilege of sharing my love of aviation for the last three decades with those who are typically unable to be so fortunate. My best wishes go to John Davis who is so capable that he made this year’s outing go seamlessly. He will be an excellent leader for the future."
2019 Big Tires and Campfires Raffle
The raffle was held on June 15th and was sponsored by the Idaho Aviation Foundation (IAF), a non-profit organization. All net raffle proceeds are donated to organizations that preserve, protect, and maintain backcountry aviation. In 2017, net proceeds were over $11,000. In 2018, net proceeds were over $14,000.
2018 Raffle Winner & Lodge Update
We look forward to seeing you this summer.
Learn why IAF is leading the effort to rebuild Big Creek Lodge with the USFShttps://vimeo.com/70760540
2017 Big Creek Breakfast Dates Announced
As work continues in the very small construction time window at the lodge site, we will once again welcome the public to enjoy 'breakfast on the lawn' and tour the site and structures you have helped rebuild and restore! Breakfasts are $10/plate and include delicious pancakes, ham, eggs, coffee and juice. The events are early morning (8-10 am) to maximize the safety of flying guests arriving and departing in mountain conditions with potential wind. Profile Pass will likely not be navigable by car in late June; and we hope to add a date later in the season for the driving public!
- Saturday June 17
- Saturday June 24
- Saturday August 5
A look back at 2016 accomplishments at Big CreekWe made significant progress at the lodge site in 2016, and continue to close in on completion. Take a look back at 2016 on our site specific to the Rebuild Big Creek Lodge project: http://www.rebuildbigcreek.com/index.php/news/77-big-creek-lodge-update.
Aviation License Plate Program SavedWe did it! 1171 license plates were sold by December 31, 2017. This means that the program will continue for at least two more years. In order to continue to keep the plates in circulation there must be at least 1000 plates sold annually; if we drop below that limit for 2 years in a row we will lose the program. See more on our Projects page.
IAF continues support of Wilderness Within Reach every June
Big Creek Lodge Structure is Ready for Its' First Winter!What an accomplishment! In October 2015 the building shell was completed. Thanks to our many donors and volunteers for making it happen! We need about $250,00 to complete the interior. If fund-raising continues successfully we plan to accomplish this by Fall of 2016. For more pictures and information on how to help us get it completed in 2016 go to the Rebuild Big Creek Website.
Big Creek Lodge Groundbreaking CeremonyWork has already begun at the site with the installation of the septic system! The Ground Breaking Ceremony will be Saturday, July 18th at 8:30 a.m.; coffee and donuts will be available. Check our web cam for construction activity.
30 Year Special Use Permit Awarded to IAF by USFS for Rebuilding the Lodge at Big CreekThe Idaho Aviation Foundation cannot emphasize enough how supportive the USFS has been of the Lodge project. In fact, they have awarded the IAF a THIRTY YEAR Special Use Permit for ongoing operations at Big Creek. This is HUGE! We previously announced a 20 year permitóbut they went to bat internally for this project and added another 10 years to the permit. At the Big Creek Breakfast event on the 15th, a ceremonial signing of the Special Use Permit by the Forest Service (Anthony Botello (seated) and Clem Pope from the Payette National Forest/Krassel District) and Idaho Aviation Foundation representatives (President Jim Davies (seated) and Vice President Colleen Back). After the signing, the US Flag was raised on the Lodge Site for the first time since 2008. See more about the project on our Current Projects Page.
Big Creek Goes up in Flames: October 23, 2008
Photo courtesy Walt Smith