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Course Selections

The 2019 Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Insitute will be held May 20 to May 24, 2019.  It will start at 1:00 PM on Monday the 20th and will conclude at 3:00 PM on Friday the 24th.  All participants are expected to sign up for the entire week.  To allow for flexibility in sessions this year, you are allowed to register for one session on Tuesday/Wednesday and one session on Thursday/Friday.  You must register for two sessions and stay for the entire week.  The exception to this will be the Advanced Crosscut Saw and Axemanship course because this is a week-long session.  Monday will consist of a plenary day for all participants.  

Please review the information about each course carefully. You will be asked to select the courses you would like to attend when you Apply.


Group Session

Lead Facilitator: Jimmy Gaudry

This is a group session for all participants.  It follows check-in (10:12:30) and starts at 1:00.  It will cover logsitics for the week, hear from the Regional Forester, and engage and get to know one another.


Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED

Lead Facilitator: Alicia Tanrath (USFS)

This two-day Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED course will cover the basics of wilderness and backcountry medical treatment and resuce.  Personnel working in the outdoors whom have limited or no medical training can benefit from this insturction and will receive an American Heart Association Adult Heart Saver Certification.  This course is NOT a Wilderness First Responder course which is an 80 hour course.  Course offers a comprehensive look at not only properly identifying and managing life-threatening injuries and illnesses that could appear in a wilderness or backcountry setting (i.e., location more than 60 minutes away from definitive care), but also incoprorates a lot of hands-on skill practice, case studies, practical scenarios, evacuation planning and procedures, aspects of long term patient care and how to make appropriate evacuation decision involving wildenress and backcountry context and situational awareness.

Intro to Wilderness Stewardship

Lead Facilitators: Courtney Wall (SBFC), Jack Ader (USFS), and Colter Pence (USFS)

This session will focus on some of the basic skills and concepts needed to be a successful Wilderness Ranger in the field.  It will cover an introduction to the Wilderness Act, front-country preparation and backcountry implementation of skills.  Attendees will have a greater understanding of how and why we monitor solitude and campsites in Wilderness.  This course will include interactive scenarios to prepare attendees with situations that Wilderness Rangers have experienced in the field and decisions that Wilderness Mangers must make in the office.

Defensive Horsemanship & Introduction to Horse Packing 

Lead Facilitator: None listed yet

The Basic Horsemanship class will result in participants being certified for 8 hours of required horsemanship training.  The course will review the basics of horsemanship and provide an excellent refresher for those with more experience.  The course will include classroom and field time, and cover equine psychology, how to work effectively with stock in a safe manner, including: catching, tying, grooming, saddling, bridling, mountin, riding, feeding and camping with stock, and packing and handling skills. 


Basic & Advanced Wilderness Trail Maintenance

Lead Facilitator: None listed yet.

This course will review the basics of wilderness trail maintenance and provide an excellent refresher for those with more experience.  The course will be field-based and hands-on, so be prepared for field work.  Please dress accordingly and be prepared for cold, wet, North Idaho spring weather! Topics covered will include safe and effective use of hand tools, maintaining those tools, basic tread maintenance, opening/clearing the trailway, and maintaining trail drainage (structures and general trail) in wilderness.  The remainder of the class will focus on one or two advanced topics, likely working on wilderness trail structures.

Crosscut Saw B Bucking

Lead Facilitator: Adam Washebek (USFS)

This course provides students with both classroom-based instruction and field experiencce in the use of crosscut saws and axes.  Students will learn how to safely utilize these tools in a trail maintenance capaicty.  The course will cover tool history, best practices in the field, one-on-one instruction in tool use in the field, tool care, safety, and transportation of the tools.  Successful completion of this course is required to use these tools on national forest lands while participating in stewardship efforts.

Advanced Wilderness Stewardship

Lead Facilitators: Jack Ader (USFS), Colter Pence (USFS), and Courtney Wall (SBFC)

This session will focus on some of the skills and concepts needed to understand wilderness management.  It will take a deeper dive into wilderness values, wilderness stewardship performance, and wilderness character monitoring.  Through hands-on exercises, students will participate in crafting an MRDG, understanding and building relationships with wilderness fire management, and understanidng visitor use management.


Advanced Crosscut Saw and Axemanship 

Note: To be considered for this session you must provide a letter of recommendation from a line officer.  This should be submitted to Jimmy Gaudry by the close of the application process (April 22).

This course will consist of both classroom and field time.  It is a train the trainers course, and will cover policy, vernacular, OSHA, delegation and desigation and other necessities of navigating the saw policy.  New curriculum, teaching aids, methodologies and processes will be taught.  Field components will cover axemanship, complex and precision falling, OHLEC, complex bucking, remocing hung trees (with and without rigging), and implementing field-based education methodolgoies.

To see general information about the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute (Institute), click here.

To see logistics information for the Institute, click here.

To see Pre-Requisites for the Institute, click here.

To APPLY for the Institute, click here

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