What is BCHI?
The Back Country Horsemen of Idaho is a non-profit organization with 16 chapters spread throughout our beautiful state. Each chapter of BCHI is its own non-profit organization. Although each chapter is a member of BCHI, and in turn, Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA), they each have a complete list of Officers and Directors. Active volunteers are dedicated to keeping trails open for stock use in the back country. We participate in trail riding, trail clearing, bridge construction, pack trips, potlucks, and fundraisers. All ages are welcome to join, but must be a member and sign a waiver in order to participate.
Want to Become a Member?
Back Country Horsemen of Idaho invites you to become actively involved in preserving your back country stock use by joining one of the existing BCHI chapters. Click on the map nearest your location to link to the chapter’s website or Facebook page. If no chapter exists in your area, you may join independently. Otherwise, if you know other interested stock users in your area, you may form a new chapter. To form a new chapter in your area, contact the BCHI Chairman for assistance. BCHI Officers are listed on the Contact page.
Join a Local Chapter Today!
Click on a Map Pin Below to Visit Their Website and/or Facebook Page
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Purpose of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho
The purpose of this organization shall be:
- To perpetuate the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s backcountry and wilderness.
- To work to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use.
- To assist the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource.
- To educate, encourage and solicit active participation in the wise use of the backcountry resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage.
- To foster and encourage the formation of new units of the organization.
History of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho
The story of BCHI began January 22, 1978 with members of the Flathead, Missoula & Bitterroot chapters (all in Montana) coming to Salmon, Idaho to try and start another chapter. They provided posters, an informational kit, and funds for radio and newspaper advertising.A meeting on February 14th had 50 people in attendance, including the Salmon National Forest Supervisor. An organization committee was formed to draft documents for the March meeting. The Salmon River BCH chapter was officially organized on March 14, 1978.
Feeling that BCH was going to grow and would need a central body to coordinate activities, these four chapters met to form an umbrella organization. The Back Country Horsemen of America (the national organization) was born in early 1979.
The first BCHA convention was held in Kalispell, MT on March 17-18, 1979 where a constitution and by-laws were adopted. BCHA has now expanded its influence to states and one chapter in British Columbia. There are 32 current states, 2 affiliate state members and 4 potential new member states.
A second Idaho chapter, the Panhandle BCH (Coeur d’Alene) was formed in early 1983. When the states of California & Washington agreed to bring their respective organizations on board with BCHA in 1985, BCHI was formed with Salmon River BCH and Panhandle BCH as charter members.
In 1986 the number of chapters doubled when BCH of North Central Idaho (Grangeville) and Priest River Valley BCH organized chapters, joined soon after by Heartland BCH (Donnelly).
Two years later, in 1988, Twin River BCH (Lewiston) and Eagle Rock BCH (Idaho Falls) joined the ranks.
In 1992 five new chapters were added: Sawtooth BCH (Wood River Valley), Squaw Butte BCH (Emmett), High Desert BCH (Rupert), Cache Peak BCH (Burley) & Treasure Valley BCH (Nampa/Caldwell).
Since that time, North Idaho BCH (Sandpoint) they joined in 1994, Boise BCH (Meridian) in 2001, and the Selkirk Valley BCH (Bonners Ferry) 2004 were formed. North Idaho BCH dissolved in 2013.
In 2015, two new chapters were formed: Palouse BCH (Moscow) and Portneuf BCH (Pocatello). High Desert dissolved in December 2017 and their members joined Cache Peak. In March 2020, a new chapter was formed in Driggs ID called Teton Valley BCH.
By-Laws of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho
By-Laws of the Back Country Horsemen of Idaho 3-2018 (March 2018 revision)