Kerry McClay is the national director for SnowSchool, a winter outdoor adventure program for kids that combines the science of snow with the fun of snowshoeing and connecting with nature. I speak with Kerry about why he believes that a snowy and wild environment is the perfect place to inspire kids about nature, STEM learning, and the excitement of outdoor winter recreation.

Kerry was one of the key leaders that spearheaded the effort to build and grow a successful SnowSchool program at the Bogus Basin Nordic Center.

To get involved with the Bogus Basin SnowSchool email snowschool@bogusbasin.org and visit the SnowSchool website to learn more about the national SnowSchool program or get in touch with Kerry.

Kerry McClay and SnowSchool: The Science and Fun of Snow by Building A Greener Idaho on Mixcloud


This week’s interview is part two of a two part series exploring the impact of the recent Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill. Scroll down to the previous blog post for last week’s episode.

Idaho is a gifted state, gifted with the resource of public lands spanning thousands of square miles of rugged backcountry and mountain beauty. Some of these lands are wilderness – they are wild, remote and unbranded by congressional Wilderness designation. Some of these lands are Wilderness, officially designated by congress as Wilderness areas. 4,792,969 acres in Idaho are designated and managed as Wilderness to be exact.

Wilderness lands are managed with the highest level of conservation authority granted to our public lands and the Wilderness act itself is the most revered piece of land management legislation for many conservation advocates. However, an increasing percentage of wilderness lovers are finding themselves more and more conflicted over the Wilderness act. These wilderness lovers are mountain bikers, a user group that witnessed the Wilderness act amended in 1984 to ban the use of mountain bikes and watched in consternation as thousand of miles of trail in the most beautiful places of our country have been closed to the human powered endeavor of mountain biking. With ongoing additions, designated Wilderness totals 109,130,498 acres of U.S. public lands, an area roughly equivalent in size to the state of California. Mountain bikers who have been actively engaged in Wilderness advocacy are now wondering if the conservation movement isn’t shooting itself in the foot with the blanket ban on biking in Wilderness and a designate at all costs agenda that finds conservation groups aligning with unlikely bedfellows in the political arena, alienates potential conservation minded allies, and limits the recruitment potential of the conservation movement by disenfranchising the younger demographic.

The wariness built by years of exclusion culminated in the recently passed Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill. The BWCWB protects half the land of the original National Monument proposal, limits none of the existing higher impact activities of motorized trail use and grazing, and has created a rift in wilderness lovers that is spawning ongoing repercussions. Ultimately, mountain bikers are left with one nagging question – what was gained by their loss of access?

Our guests are Aaron Clark, former staff person with The Wilderness Society, and current Conservation Manager with the International Mountain Bike Association, Brett Stevenson, former staff person with the Idaho Conservation League and current Board Member with the Wood River Bike Coalition, and Marc Landblom, a former diesel mechanic and long haul trucker who has shifted his life’s focus to maintaining wilderness trails, and building bridges between backcountry user groups due to his love of wilderness (with a lower case w) mountain biking. Marc is now a co-owner of the Hub of Salmon bike shop and an active member of the Salmon Idaho Mountain Bike Association. Together, we discuss their take on what it means to be a wilderness lover with a taste for two wheels, and the impact of the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill on the long term sustainability of the conservation movement and meeting our collective land preservation goals.

For a more scholarly take on this issue, we invite our listeners to review Congress’s Intent in Banning Mechanical
Transport in the Wilderness Act of 1964, submitted to the Penn State Law Review by attorney Theodore J. Stroll, and to explore Stroll et. al’s proposed solutions to maintaining balance, and eroding trail systems, in the backcountry at the Sustainable Trails Coalition website.


Taken days before the banning of mountain bikes on the premier Boulder White Clouds high country trails.

Our interview aired on Radio Boise Tuesday 9-8-2015. You can listen to live shows by tuning in to Radio Boise Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org. Use the player embedded below to listen to a podcast of the show.

Boulder White Clouds Wilderness - The Mountain Bike Perspective by Building A Greener Idaho on Mixcloud

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Between them Rick Johnson and Craig Gerhke have several decades of advocacy work on the books to protect the Boulder White Cloud mountains of Central Idaho. On August 7th, their work culminated with witnessing President Obama signing a new wilderness bill in the oval office. The bill sailed through both houses of Congress via unanimous consent on a “hotline” procedure after years of negotiations and compromise about management of the area both in Idaho and in Congress.

East-Fork-Salmon-River Ed Cannady

East Fork Salmon- Ed Cannady

Tuesday, September 1st at 3pm I speak with Craig Gehrke of The Wilderness Society and Rick Johnson
from the Idaho Conservation League about how this central Idaho gem of a landscape came to be protected as wilderness. From the days of Castle Peak being threatened by an open pit mine, to years of local collaboration and compromising, to coalition building around a National Monument campaign, Craig and Rick share their journey to protect this remarkable place.

Wilderness Advocates Close Long Chapter on Boulder White Clouds by Building A Greener Idaho on Mixcloud

Sunny Genz has long thought that there are more conscientious ways to live than the average American lifestyle. Perhaps is stems from her upbringing with a mom who was environmentally aware. Perhaps it’s just part of who she is. Either way, the Treasure Valley benefits from her motivation to support sustainable living.

Sunny became fascinated with the Ecovillage concept after learning about sustainable Earthship buildings. She then made it her mission to establish the first urban Ecovillage in the Boise area. So what exactly is an Ecovillage? From the Boise Ecovillage website – An Ecovillage is a sustainable community living in harmony with the earth and with each other through green building, renewable energy, shared governance, and permaculture principles.

Through her interests in developing an Ecovillage, Genz made contact with Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage founder and sustainable living guru Ma’ikwe Ludwig. Ma’ikwe is currently on a speaking tour, and Sunny and the Boise State University Sustainability Club have arranged a stop for her in Boise. Ludwig will speak at the Sustainable is Possible event hosted at Boise State September 4th and 5th. There will be a free public presentation and film, as well as two in depth workshops. You can find out more about the Sustainable is possible event on Facebook, and register to attend online.

Sunny Genz 8-20-15

Sunny Genz Promoting the Boise Ecovillage Project

You can listen to live shows by tuning in to Radio Boise Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org. Our interview with Sunny aired on Radio Boise 8-18-2015. Use the player below to listen to a podcast of the show.

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

Sustainable is Possible, but it Takes a Village by Building A Greener Idaho on Mixcloud


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,151 other followers

%d bloggers like this: