About Northern Rockies WSI
** Due to the Covid-19 virus and guidelines from the CDC, the 2020 NRWSI has been cancelled. If you need information or access to training materials for the 2020 field season, contact Jimmy Gaudry: [email protected]
The Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute is a training partnership between multiple partners that include the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Society for Wilderness Stewardship, and the United States Forest Service. The Institute currently features two weeks of training hosted each year at the Powell Ranger Station on the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forest.
Wilderness work requires a special scope of skills. This program is designed to provide volunteers, agency and partnership staff and others opportunities for growth within these unique skill sets. Each year, courses are selected to provide skills training for all levels of experience, from those new to stewardship to those who have been stewarding wilderness for decades. The Institute is an excellent opportunity for connecting with Wilderness stewards across the region both inside and outside of the classroom.
The 2020 Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute will be two, week-long sessions from May 11 – 15, 2020 and May 18-22, 2020. It will start at 1pm PT on Monday and conclude at 3pm PT on Friday. All participants are expected to attend the entire week of the course that they have selected. Monday will consist of a plenary day for all participants.
Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training class “Wilderness Act of 1964” online class – http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/elearning
This online course is required to be taken before attending the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute. This is a free class, which includes reading short narratives, listening to audio, interactive graphics, and quizzes. The purpose of The Wilderness Act of 1964 course is to acquaint you with the contents of this law and equip you to consider its impact in managing a wilderness area; this is foundational material relevant to everyone working in wilderness stewardship. We have designed the sessions at the Wilderness Skills Institute assuming you have already taken this class and have learned this foundational material. Feedback from past students has shown that most people prefer to take this class on their own before the full session, so that they can go at their own pace and have time to reflect on what they learned. The average time it takes students is 2.5 hours. You can stop and start the class anytime you want – you don’t have to take it all at once. Once at the Wilderness Skills Institute, please be prepared to discuss what you learned from the class, what surprised you, and what was the most important thing you got from the curriculum.
Course descriptions are found below but more detailed information will be provided 2 weeks before the sessions begin.
Click Here to apply for the Northern Rockies WSI
Course Descriptions Week 1
Advanced C-Level Crosscut Saw Instructor and Axemanship – Train the Trainer Course
Lead Facilitator: Aaron Klug
Other Intructors: Bob Beckley, Todd Wilson, Todd Brown, Jeremy Rust, Mikey Church
Note: To be considered for this session you must provide a letter of recommendation from a line officer, be currently crosscut saw certified at the B-Faller level, and current in first aid/CPR. This should be submitted by the close of the application process to [email protected]
This course is designed for students who already possess multiple years of experience with crosscut and axemanship and who are currently operating at the “B+” Faller-Crosscut level. Instructors will assume that incoming students are physically fit and possess solid competence operating a crosscut and axe in moderately complex bucking and felling scenarios.
The course will begin in the classroom the morning of May 12 and instructors will offer the new trainers guidance on Policy, Vernacular, OSHA, Delegation and Designation and other necessary requirements of navigating the saw policy. (1 hour)
Following the introductory portion, instructors will introduce the new curriculum, teaching aids, new methodologies and associated processes. This will be a “how-to teach” new students in the classroom and why. This will bring us almost to lunch where we will transition into the field.
Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday (all day) will be in the field with a focus on axemanship, complex and precision falling, OHLEC, complex bucking, removing hung trees and following the new educational methodology.
Thursday Friday – A falling and B bucking course
The newly certified educators put on a class for new sawyers.
Crosscut Saw A/B Bucking & Wilderness First Aid
Crosscut Lead Facilitator: Aaron Klug, Bob Beckley, Todd Wilson
WFA Lead Facilitator: Alicia Tanrath
The A/B Crosscut Certification Course provides students with both classroom-based instruction and field experience in the use of the crosscut saws and axes. Students will learn how to safely utilize these tools in a trail maintenance capacity. 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 and saw certification is required to use cross cut saws on national forest lands while participating in stewardship efforts.
The two-day Wilderness First Aid course will cover the basics of wilderness and backcountry medical treatment and rescue. Personnel working in the outdoors whom have limited or no medical training can benefit from this instruction and will receive an American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) 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 incorporates 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 decisions involving wilderness and backcountry context and situational awareness.
Field Leadership Development
Lead Facilitator: Collaboration of agency and partner staff
Students will gain knowledge of, and practice with, tools and philosophies which will aid them in communicating with others, engaging in problem solving, handling conflict, and caring for the wellbeing of themselves and others, and they will feel empowered to facilitate leadership in a field-based setting. Students will be asked to practice and use the knowledge and perspectives gained in this session through exercises, activities, and self-reflection. Target students are emerging field leaders, those who are leading field crews, and those who have previously participated in NRWSI technical curriculum and are ripe for interpersonal development. Note: To be considered for this session you must provide a letter of recommendation from a line officer or program director explaining why the prospective student is a suitable candidate for this training. This letter should be submitted by the close of the application process to [email protected]
Upon completion of this lesson, participants will:
- Learn about various communication tools which they can use as field leaders.
- Understand how they can support a more diverse and inclusive work environment around them.
- Learn how to provide self-care for themselves as field leaders, and care for those they work with.
- Have practiced some of the techniques and tools shared with them, and be able to share these techniques and tools with others.
Basic Horsemanship & Packing
Lead Facilitator: Sean Santolin & Karl Crittenden
The Basic Horsemanship class will result in participants being trained for 8 hours,meeting Regional policy requiring horsemanship training for those working around or with stock. The course will review the basics of horsemanship 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!
The course will include a short classroom introduction covering the course objectives of how to effectively work with and around stock in a safe manner. This indoor session will include a discussion on equine psychology and how to work safely with stock and will include a short video- Gentle Training-The Round Pen by Doug Hammill. Following this short indoor orientation, the remainder of the class will be a hands-on demonstration at the Powell barn. Outdoor topics include catching, tying, grooming, saddling, bridling, mounting, riding, feeding, and camping with stock. The remainder of the class will focus on packing and handling skills.
This course will provide a brief review of the basics of horsemanship resulting in meeting agency stock training requirements and then go into depth on trailering, working with ropes and knot-tying skills, skills for assisting packers, packing skills pertinent to packing and riding assigned animals, and preparing gear to be packed in. The course will be hands-on and field oriented.
Course Descriptions Week 2
Advanced Traditional Skills
Lead Facilitator: Adam Washebek (POC), Noel Payne, Peter Bauer, and Jesse Satterfield
This course is designed for lightly seasoned trail technicians desiring a bit more knowledge of the finer points of trail work. The goal is to get folks proficient on ax rehandling, and bucking with axes, understand how to use a griphoist and set up simple rigging systems as may be needed for common trails projects, and skilled at basic drystone masonry to address issues of soil retention on the trail.
A day will be spent rehandling, shaping, sharpening, and swinging axes. Be sure to bring the tools that need love from your home units cache. The remainder of the course will be learning rigging equipment, building rigging systems, and performing drystone masonry on trails. Come with any trail specific questions as the instructors have over 40 years of exclusively field going experience and a desire to share their knowledge.
Basic Trail Maintenance
Lead Facilitator: TBD
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 class will also focus on one or two advanced topics, likely working on wilderness trail structures, planning trail projects, how to fix what you find, recon of a trail and documentation (yes that upward reporting!)
Day one will begin with a classroom overview of general trail maintenance, planning, and tools used for maintaining wilderness trails. The class will then travel to a site along the Lochsa corridor where basic wilderness trail maintenance will be discussed and demonstrated. The class will transition to the advanced portion of the course and begin work on wilderness trail structure(s) with the focus on one or two wilderness trail structure types.
This three-day Basic Wilderness Trail Maintenance course will provide a brief review of the basics of wilderness trail maintenance and then go into depth on one or two wilderness trail structures. The course will be hands-on and field oriented.
Wild and Scenic River Stewardship
Lead Facilitator: River Management Society, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and Agency Staff
In the river section attendees will learn the basic underpinnings of the WSR Act and the policy of how it is implemented in the West today. They will also learn about the knowledge, skills and abilities that people involved in WSR management will need. Finally, they will receive in-depth training in LNT, particularly focused on a river environment. Upon completing this workshop they will receive a Leave No Trace Trainer Certificate.
Although the session will include time in the field it will not have a river floating component.
Lead Facilitator: Jack Ader
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 understanding visitor use management.
Upon completion of this lesson, participants will:
- Learn what a minimum requirement analysis is and how to use the minimum requirement decision guide.
- Understand and be familiar with Wilderness Stewardships Performance, and solitude monitoring.
- Have a better understanding of wilderness visitor use management.
- Understand and be familiar with wilderness fire management.