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CONTENTS FOOD, ARTS & CULTURE 18 Artist Ed Anderson 30 Basque Me in the Pyrenees COMMUNITY 8 A New Era for the Broncos 12 Bronco Nation Endures 20 Water as Life and Death 25 Chasing Elk


CEO Spotlight: Todd Achilles 34 The Birds and the (Backyard) Bees 36 Disappearing Idaho Farms 38 Idaho B Corps and Certified Companies 40 Leaving a Legacy

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING 28 Cybersecurity ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 5 Thank You to Our Heroes 7 Contributors

CHINA BEFORE COMMUNISM SHEN YUN’S unique artistic vision expands theatrical experience into a multi-dimensional, inspiring journey through one of humanity’s greatest treasures— the five millennia of traditional Chinese culture. Featuring one of the world’s oldest art forms—classical Chinese dance—along with patented scenographical effects and all-original orchestral works, Shen Yun opens a portal to a civilization of profound wisdom and divine beauty. “It’s really out of this world! If I had to describe it, the words might be ‘Divine,’ ‘Reborn,’ and ‘Hope.’” —Christine Walevska, master cellist

“It was magical! I have just emerged from a magical world of color, harmony, and perfection.” —Raina Kabaivanska, world-renowned opera singer



We see you.

From: IdaHome To: Our Heroes

THANK YOU Healthcare workers, essential workers, first and last responders and lab technicians for pulling us through this crisis.


OCTOBER 2021 publisher K A R E N DAY features editor H E AT H E R H A M I LT O N POST copy editor C A R R I E L IGH T N E R technically speaking editor H A I L E Y M I N T ON art and design J S NGR A F I X K A L E Y BE LVA L director of operations and sales manager M A R IELLE W EST PH A L staff photographer K A R E N DAY cover photograph BOISE STATE UNIVERSIT Y unsplash photographers J OA N E S A N D U E Z A DA N I E L H E R RO N VIDAR NORDLI MATHISEN Marketing, Sales and Distribution IdaHome Magazine is published by Idaho Real Estate Marketplace P.O. Box 116 Boise, Idaho 83701 208.481.0693 © 2021 IdaHome Magazine. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the authors and contributors to IdaHome Magazine are not necessarily those of the editor and publisher.

Community + Culture + Recreation + Real Estate


Along with many new aspects of the 2021 BSU BRONCOS, a new tee dog is taking the field. Meet “Blitz,” heir apparent canine, son of the late and great “Cowboy Kohl,” who passed away last month at 11. Pictured here, Kohl was a beloved mascot, and a hard act to follow with his dashing retrieval of the tee after the first Broncos kickoff, as well as performing as the Bat Dog for the Boise Hawks. Blitz is already proving he has the DNA of Blue Turf legend. Photo courtesy of Karen Day.

CONTRIBUTORS Heather Hamilton-Post is a writer and editor in Caldwell. She holds degrees in both agriculture and creative writing and is herself surprised by that. When she’s not writing, catch her at a socially-distanced baseball game with her husband and young sons. Find her work across the web and buried in the lit journals you didn’t know you had. Mike McKenna is an award-winning author and journalist from Hailey. Mike’s writing has appeared widely, from Forbes, People, and Trout to numerous regional newspapers. He has served as the editor of The Sheet and Sun Valley Magazine and is the author of two prize-winning guidebooks, including Angling Around Sun Valley. Micah Drew is a writer currently based in northwest Montana. A multiple Montana Newspaper Association award-winning journalist covering politics, sports, and the outdoors, he has written for Edible Idaho, Boise Weekly, and High Country News. When not in the newsroom, he can be found trail running throughout the West. Sabina Dana Plasse is a professional writer and editor from Baltimore, Maryland, who moved to Idaho more than 15 years ago. Besides writing and editing, she launches startup events, assists businesses with publicity and marketing, and is an active film reviewer. When not working, she is enjoying the outdoors, traveling, and watching movies. Dave Southorn has lived in Boise since 2005 and has spent nearly all that time covering Boise State University for the Idaho Statesman, Idaho Press, and The Athletic. He married an Idaho girl, Lisa, and loves to explore the city and the surrounding natural beauty with her and their two dogs, Riggins and Rue. Samantha Stetzer holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and has written for newspapers, magazines, and blogs for nearly a decade. She loves writing about the stories that make us unique, and when she isn't weaving tales, she enjoys hiking with her husband and pups or visiting a local brewery. Cherie Buckner-Webb is a former Idaho State Senator, executive coach, speaker, business consultant, strategist, and fifth-generation Idahoan. In addition to her work in corporate and nonprofit environments, she assists institutions of higher education in the development of diversity curriculum and training and sits on a variety of local and national boards. April Neale is an entertainment features writer and has read her work on NPR and Spoken Interludes and writes for various industry trades and entertainment websites. Neale is a member of the Critics Choice Association, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Hollywood Critics Association, Television Critics Association, and other professional entertainment organizations. Hailey Minton is a freelance writer and loves painting with her words. She approaches life with inquisitiveness whether in writing, raising her daughter, or developing her hobbies. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, she has a love for seeing innovators bring solutions to our ever-changing world.








f nothing else, the new Boise State University football team’s staff offers a breath of fresh air in its honesty. Following a 1-2 start that included a five-point loss on September 2 at UCF and a one-point home loss to Oklahoma State on September 18, coaches are not sugarcoating anything. “It’s not the standard. I know that and you know that,” head coach Andy Avalos says. “The numbers are what they are. They’re not good,” offensive coordinator Tim Plough says. Avalos’ first season as head coach did not get off to a rousing start, that much is true. But then again, all but one of the Broncos’ four coaches who preceded Avalos lost at least two of their first five games. “We understand what the standard is here,” says Avalos, a former Boise State linebacker. “We’ve just got to build that consistency and it starts with our coaches.” Bryan Harsin, Avalos’ predecessor who went 69-19 in seven seasons at Boise State before leaving for Auburn in December, often avoided such criticism of his own staff, at least publicly. But that is part of the new attitude Avalos brings to a program that has the second-highest winning percentage in the nation since 2000, trailing only national powerhouse Ohio State University. Avalos was a classic Boise State player when he starred on the Broncos’ defense from 2000 to 2004—undersized, but smart and tenacious. He returned to Boise State as an assistant from 2012 to 2018 before becoming the defensive coordinator at the University of Oregon for two seasons. “You’re not going to find someone who fits our mission better,” says Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey, who was hired a week before Avalos. “He exudes the blue-collar mentality of this program.” “He has a defined vision—he knows where we’re going, and yes, we’re going to win championships,” Dickey adds. Few understand what Boise State is all about better than Avalos. From its underdog days to winning big bowl games, the trick plays and the big wins, he knows that success isn’t granted, but innovation has been paramount. “We’ve never been afraid to take risks, and we’re not going to stop now,” Avalos says.

“We’ve never been afraid to take risks, and we’re not going to stop now”




One major part of that strategy is an offense that looks a bit different than the ones that have been so potent for so many years. Whether it was Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins, Chris Petersen, or Bryan Harsin at the helm, all have learned from the previous coach. A defensive-minded coach, Avalos hired from the outside with Plough, who arrived from UC Davis (where Hawkins is now the head coach). His offense has been more focused on the pass than the old system, which has ruffled some feathers with those expecting big numbers from running backs, but plays to the team’s strengths with a veteran quarterback in junior Hank Bachmeier and a loaded wide receiver corps. One of those receivers, senior Khalil Shakir, is among the nation’s best. He also has benefitted from a massive new rule change—collegiate players can now be paid for their name, image, and likeness to be used by sponsors. In September, Shakir signed a NLI deal, doing so with Pro Image Sports, a national merchandise chain. Another major off-field change that’s new in 2021? Alcohol in Albertsons Stadium. Previously, it was just sold in the premium seating sections of the Broncos’ home, but now, it can be sold in the general seating area. This shift is expected to bring in additional income to an athletic department in need of it, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic limited attendance in 2020. The crowd of 36,702 on hand for the September 18 loss to Oklahoma State University was the fifth-largest ever. “The crowd was awesome ... we’ll implement some things to make sure we have the confidence and ability to execute better next time for Bronco Nation,” Avalos says. As it has for years, Boise State continues to wait for an invitation to a major, big-money conference. Four teams, including UCF and rival BYU, announced their plans in September to move to the Big 12. Again, the Broncos were left out, but still hope their body of work gets them into the big leagues. Though the wins haven’t come immediately, Boise State does have the feeling of change in the air with a different football landscape, new coach, new athletic director, and renewed energy. Will it work in the long run? That remains to be seen. But what’s certain is that 2021 is a turning point for Boise State, which is as intriguing as it gets.

“...what’s certain is that 2021 is a turning point for Boise State...”




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The enduring Power


Bronco Nation


In the last two decades, the force of Bronco Nation has grown with the Broncos’ prowess on and off the Blue. BY MICAH DREW

Ask a Boise State University football fan to name the most iconic game in history and only one will roll off their tongue: the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. The game was the ultimate David and Goliath story, in no little part due to the extensive media coverage leading up to kickoff. That game started a passionate conversion for many Boise State fans, both casually ignorant locals and nationally intrigued sports fans, that continues to this day. The Broncos, while a successful team in the years leading up to the 2006-2007 12

season, wore their underdog status proudly. The team was 12-0 on the season and had easily clinched the WAC title. Their opponents, however, were the 11-1 Big Ten Champion Oklahoma Sooners, a team that just two years prior had been ranked No. 2 in the nation, losing its bowl game to top-ranked USC. Boise State was breaking in a young new head coach, Chris Peterson, who had been promoted up from offensive coordinator after the departure of Dan Hawkins. In his first season in charge, Peterson led the Broncos to a perfect season record and the team was only the

second non-BCS conference program to earn a bid to a bowl game of Tostitos Fiesta significance. For even the most casual football fans who were tangentially aware of the Broncos’ bowl chances on January 4, the three trick plays that secured one of the most exciting wins in college football spill off the tongue like a mantra. The 50-yard hook and lateral on 4th and 18 to tie the game with seconds left. An options pass off a snap to the wide receiver for the overtime TD, leaving the Broncos down by one. The Statue of Liberty for a two-point conversion.

The Statue of Liberty is a play of supreme misdirection that rarely is called during game-deciding scenarios. At the bowl game, quarterback Jared Zabransky takes the snap, fakes a pass and hands the ball off behind his back to Ian Johnson, who sprints to the far left corner of the end zone, throws the ball into the crowd and promptly jumps the barrier to where the Broncos cheerleaders were and proposes to his girlfriend on live TV. If you weren’t paying attention to Boise State then, you can still get chills from the highlight reel on YouTube, which has been viewed nearly four million times.

Murphy says that he noticed the shift in Bronco Nation’s size and mentality during his first full season covering the team. “That season, Utah was a big road game and that’s when I feel like everyone started paying attention,” he says. “And Boise State brought the fan base. It was the first time I saw that it was a deeper fandom than just crowds going to home games.” The last game of the regular season was a road game in Reno, where the fan base came equipped with Tostitos bags and sombreros. “Everyone knew what was at stake with that win,” Murphy recalls. “The bandwagon was already full.”

feated in seven conference seasons, made nine bowl appearances, and won two Fiesta Bowls. Chadd Cripe, current editor of the Idaho Statesman, worked as the Broncos’ beat reporter, starting in 2002. He recalls that the media booth didn’t have room to accommodate all the Statesman’s reporters in the early years. “The things you really noticed in the 2006-2012 range, is that they picked up so many casual fans,” Cripe says. “People who aren’t necessarily big football fans, who were not tied to Boise State, all these people jumped in who just wanted to support football and watch their games.”


That game took place 14 years ago and it’s still talked about as having instigated the meteoric rise of our football heroes of the Blue Turf as well as Boise State’s devoted Bronco Nation. “It just felt like this wave had taken over the city,” says Brian Murphy, former Idaho Statesman Broncos columnist. “The crazy game, the proposal, the underdog story, it transcended college football and broke into the mainstream at the point.” Murphy arrived in Boise in January 2006, at what he describes as the perfect moment to chronicle the “best era of Boise State football,” specifically the Chris Peterson and Kellen Moore eras that lasted eight years.

Boise State’s football history can be broken up into three periods: Pre-Coach Pete, the Coach Pete Era, and PostCoach Pete. “Bronco Nation really had its origins in some of the early victories of football coaches even going back to the late 1990s and into the 2000s,” says former Boise State University President Bob Kustra. Boise State started on its path to nonBCS dominance prior to Coach Pete’s ascendance to head coach in 2006. From 1999-2009, the Broncos won 112 football games, a modern-era record for a decade, only surpassed by Penn and Yale’s records from before 1900. The Broncos were unde-

“There was just a massive increase in Bronco Nation,” he adds. The next year was a “normal” season for Boise State, a 10-3 season with a loss in the Hawaii Bowl. But fans, old and new alike, were bolstered by Coach Pete’s decision to stay at BSU and the arrival of quarterback Kellen Moore, who led the Broncos with a collegiate 50-3 record over four years. “Particularly during the Kellen Moore years, we’d show up in places like Fort Collins, Colorado, and San Jose, California, and Boise State fans would be louder than the home fans,” Cripe says. “Not necessarily because there were more of them, but there were enough to make more noise than the home crowd.”


“The merchandise was a big thing you noticed,” Cripe adds. “There were the color schemes, the jerseys, everyone had to have their blue, orange, white outfit for games.” “Boise is blue and orange now, but it was black and gold when I first got there,” says former president Kustra, who took the job in 2003. “This is a subject very near and dear to my heart,” he continues. “When it comes to media or historians or just somebody wanting to know what’s going on, I don’t think anyone emphasizes the connection between football and our success as a metropolitan university.”

ceived at least a pre-season top-25 AP poll ranking every year Kustra was president. After the first Fiesta Bowl victory, Kustra remembers sitting down with a senior and asking how they could take the rest of the university to the same national stage as the football program. The following year, applications to the university spiked 40% and Kustra championed a national student recruitment program, which expanded outof-state enrollment from 7% to nearly 40% over his tenure. Kustra remembers a speech he first gave to the Bronco Athletic Association that focused on the Broncos’ penchant for using trick plays on the field.

Kustra says that innovation seeped into the consciousness of the university culture and led to the development of new departments as well as a Carnegie distinction as a doctoral research university and national recognition for its academic programs. “It definitely stemmed from the success of the team,” Kustra says. “A lot of our top-notch faculty wouldn’t have found their way there if not for the hoopla the football program brought us initially.” In two decades, Bronco Nation transformed from a base of local diehards to a robust, nationwide fan base that transcends what happens on the Blue. Current BSU


Kustra recalls getting an email from then-football coach Dan Hawkins shortly after accepting the job as president. Hawkins wanted to know if Kustra was a football fan and would support the athletic programs, adding that the Broncos were ranked in the top 25 nationally. “Having come from a completely different career in public service, I’d never followed college rankings in my life,” Kustra recalls. “I thought there must have been another ranking system that put BSU in the national spotlight. It couldn’t have been the NCAA, because I’d never heard of Boise State until I applied for the job.” It was true though, and Boise State re14

“I said that trick plays have another name: innovation. Innovation is what’s driving the private business sector in this country. We need to build innovation into everything we do on this campus,” Kustra recalls. Kustra oversaw one of the biggest expansions to Boise State’s campus in history. In the wake of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win, BSU spent more than $85 million to construct the Stueckle Sky Center, Caven Williams Sports Complex, Bleymaier Football Center, Dona Larson Park, and more, as well as $450 million in the construction of academic buildings across campus.

President, Dr. Marlene Tromp, is also an enthusiastic convert with a wardrobe of blue and orange eyeglasses for game days. She thinks the value of devoted fandom expands beyond the scrimmage line, saying “We love Bronco Nation. Just as they cheer us on in athletic competition, they support us in trail-blazing teaching, research, and service. This ‘Blue Turf Thinking’ helped us earn recognition as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative National Universities.” * To the benefit of all, Bronco Nation has redefined the tailgating party forever. *Top 50 Most Innovative National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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The West Is Best for Artist Ed Anderson BY APRIL NEALE

The Boise arts community reflects the vigorous growth and infusion of people from far and wide. One local artist, Minnesota-native Ed Anderson, has called the Gem State home for more than 20 years, and his works are a pure reflection of his true West home and experiences. As a result, his art is full of motion–masculine, large, and bold– with imagery of the Idaho outdoors taken from ideas he has noted in journals and sketchbooks. These visual snapshots are magnified with black ink-meets classic


portraiture, a truly unique spin on what Western art can represent in the 21st century. Each of Andersons’s acrylic and ink works is rooted in a personal story and his style has a distinct, modern-Western style, filling homes and galleries across the state. His arresting visual paintings are honed from guiding in the wilds of Idaho. “It’s all based around my sketchbooks and journals,” says Anderson. “I tend to think of most of my pieces as storytelling. The animals that I paint are things that I’ve had experience with or know somebody who’s told me stories about them.“ COURTESY ED ANDERSON


Of all of Anderson’s imagery, his fish come alive with nuances of colorations in motion. Anderson attributes this to a plethora of stories about fishing, his own and those of other enthusiasts. “When I was getting into this style, I was also working for Jackson Kayak on the fishing team and going around to trade shows, talking to fishermen all the time,” Anderson recalls. Commercial trade shows also led to Anderson’s big break in the art world. “Because I was going to all the shows, talking to fishermen, I was put in touch with Gray’s Sporting Journal. Some of the first fish I painted ended up on the cover of their magazine. I didn’t realize it at the time, but for an outdoor artist, that’s the pinnacle. I got three covers in a year, one of which was the 40th anniversary cover. Suddenly, I had collectors calling, wanting to spend all the money in the world on paintings.” The standard-bearers of Western art are Russell and Remington, and even though Anderson resides and paints in and of the West, he doesn’t classify himself as a Western artist. “But,” he adds, ”I would like to look back at a long career and say that I was an Americana artist. I happen to live in the West. I used to do Western

Art Week every year, before COVID, and a handful of years ago, I came to a conclusion. I’m out there with the best artists in the world, the most technically advanced painters, but they’re painting cowboys and Native Americans from the 1850s, which is not at all their experience.” Anderson continues, “They’re painting beautiful pictures for beautiful homes. And I appreciate that, but the whole Western Art Week exists as a celebration of Charlie Russell and Russell was Russell because he sat in the bars with the cowpunchers and drew pictures of them.” He adds, “He went to tribal villages and talked to those people. He was on buffalo hunts, and drew from his experience. I know I can make stunning pieces for beautiful homes, but without the pedigree of telling people a story [from your experience], I think you might as well be doing fantasy art, like dragons and fairies. Everything I do is based on my experiences and the people I meet.” When asked what piece of art he would risk his life to save in a fire, Anderson doesn’t hesitate. “I would save my sketchbooks,” he says. “My journals are my life.” Clearly, Anderson’s journals are also the heartbeat of his art.


“Everything I do is based on my experiences and the people I meet.”




Water as Life and Death



Dwindling water in the West has been an escalating reality for decades. Looking forward, we humans are also fated to endure more ravages of drought and steaming temperatures already affirmed by science and avid fishermen. Still, our sufferings are mere inconveniences compared to the precarious environment that steelhead and salmon face in Idaho and where western rivers flow to and from the also-warming Pacific. “There can be droughts with somewhat tolerable conditions for fish,” says Idaho Rivers United (IRU) Executive Director Nic Nelson. “But this year, the salmon’s 20

return had to fight scorching temperatures on an already exacerbated resource that created a perfect storm. It was a drought year to an extent, but we need to quit looking at the situation as a drought and realize that this is the new normal. This is what water in the West looks like today. The more we can start planning for this being normal, we will be less reactive and put into place long-term planning to manage fishery resources, water scarcity, agricultural needs, and everything else dependent on water.” Nelson is not alone in his definitive predictions. Conservation groups and nonprofits have been handling the effects of water scarcity and climate change for years. All

agree that it’s time for us, as global citizens, to accept this new reality as fact in order to support long-term improvements and better management. But this is only the first step. The crisis needs to be considered with the same political and personal intention as all the other issues that affect our day-today existence. “It is an issue that permeates through all the initiatives that we are working on,” says Nelson. “The silver lining of a disaster is that issues are brought to the forefront for the public to acknowledge. In Idaho, we are usually fighting the opposite fight and trying to recover a resource. We are looking at steelhead returns that are the worst on

record; they are abysmal numbers, and all of Idaho’s fish are in the same boat.” Prolonged exposure to hot water is lethal to migrating adult salmon. They become stressed, diseased, and eventually die. With little to no escape from the heat, salmon that are headed upstream to spawn, particularly Sockeye salmon, are susceptible to hot water conditions because their migration occurs during the peak of summer heat. They have no refuge in cooler tributary streams along the way. As a result, less than 100 wild fish are routinely returning to central Idaho lakes to spawn, and these massive die-offs from heat pollution will soon lead to extinction. Hot water conditions will become increasingly common because of climate change. If nothing happens to address warming rivers, wild Snake River Sockeye, which travel farther inland and higher up than any other salmon run on earth—will no longer be around. Although there was a tiny uptick in the Chinook salmon returns this year, these numbers are inconsequential because they

are still on the extinction trajectory. “If you look at the entire data set for Chinook, it’s still one of the worst returns in history, and nothing has occurred to cause an inflection,” says Nelson. What can change this situation? “Fisheries scientists, including those who authored the most recent biological opinion on the Columbia River System of Operations, agree that the easiest way to ameliorate hot water “…we need to quit looking at the situation as a drought and realize that this is the new normal. This is what water in the West looks like today.” —Nic Nelson temperature in the Columbia-Snake River system is to remove the lower four Snake River dams (Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite),” Nelson explains. Much can be done to alleviate water temperature. IRU continues to advo-

cate for a free-flowing river system, and similarly to the salmon’s journey to the ocean, the current temperature issues have numerous causes, but the one primary impediment is the existence of four dams. Idaho Rivers United serves to protect and restore Idaho’s rivers and fisheries, focusing on the ecological integrity of Idaho rivers where citizens can help through advocacy. At IRU, tackling warming water and the return of salmon has been part of a more significant focus since its inception in 1990. IRU’s ongoing efforts for salmon recovery in the Columbia and Snake Rivers have been through successful, continuous, and conscious grassroots efforts. Halting dams along these rivers and dismantling others that have led to the disappearance of wild salmon have been effective. “There are services that a dam provides. However, we can find another solution for every service provided,” says Nelson. “There’s only one solution for salmon and cold water, which is a free-flowing river system.” PHOTOS COURTESY IDAHO RIVERS UNITED

Left: The Salmon River. Right: Dead Salmon


The August issue of IdaHome explored Congressman Mike Simpson’s Columbia Basin Initiative to remove four dams to save the salmon. The proposal also ensures that the agricultural economy and energy portfolio industries would be maintained or enhanced. “These systems are replaceable and leave those economies better off,” says Nelson, a proponent of the plan. “In the last 20 years, $18 billion has been spent on fish recovery, and there has not been any progress.” Salmon are not only essential to Idaho, but also a vital cultural and practical species. There was a time when the largest Chinook salmon run in the world happened annually. Not only a main food

source, the fish were an iconic species to the Native Americans before Europeans arrived in North America. Ecologically, the salmon have a tremendous value. Their DNA exists in the whitebark pine trees at the top of the Sawtooth Mountains, far from where they commence their journey to spawn. “Salmon are one of the reasons I came to Idaho,” says Nelson. “I grew up in Wyoming, and one of the reasons I chose to go to the University of Idaho was for the opportunity to go salmon and steelhead fishing. Needless to say, there isn’t much salmon fishing in Wyoming. I’m proud to have worked on numerous conservation initiatives throughout my

career, but my work at IRU feels like the most important conservation work I have ever done. Since the pandemic, many people have begun exploring parts of Idaho that they have never seen before. One of the greatest attributes of fishing for steelhead and salmon is that they inhabit some of the most beautiful places you will ever see. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the Lochsa River, and the Selway corridor are spectacular, but that’s just hyperbole until someone sees it for themselves. As more people get out there, this is the greatest opportunity in centuries to let them fall in love with it and to instill advocacy for this place and its creatures.” PHOTOS COURTESY IDAHO RIVERS UNITED


A C T I O N :

“Communities in large western metropolitan areas have created city ordinances for water conservation, which forbid Kentucky bluegrass and water-intensive plants in areas that are not trafficked, such as HOA common areas and road medians,” says Nelson. “In Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona, they have

prohibited grass and vegetation that has to be watered or is not drought-tolerant in all non-trafficked areas. This can be replicated in Boise and other places in Idaho. Engage with your city councils and civic groups to advocate for these changes.” —Nic Nelson, Idaho Rivers United Executive Director


• Xeriscape your lawn using native grasses and plants. • Consider a drip system for your lawn. • Contact and write to your elected officials and support Congressman Simpson’s plan to recover salmon and steelhead and revitalize their Pacific Northwest passage. • Become a steward and volunteer to help protect the Salmon River and Sawtooth National Forest through IRU’s partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. • Sign IRU’s petition to breach the Lower Snake River dams to protect Idaho’s endangered salmon runs. IDAHO RIVERS UNITED 208.343.7481 • COURTESY IDAHO RIVERS UNITED



Ian Malepeai scouts for elk.

CHASING ELK The hunting has been good because Bryan. “That foundation really set me up “The beautiful thing is that you could Idaho’s elk population continues to thrive. to be a successful bow hunter.” throw a dart at a map of Idaho and Despite increased harvests, wildfire issues, Elk are Bryan’s favorite species to hunt you’re probably going to hit someplace and the reintroduction of wolves to the and he shares his stories on his “SkyLines where elk live.” Adventure” podcast, as well as his Big Game Gem State, the elk population registers So says Bryan Huskey, an avid bow at more than 120,000, close to the state’s Digital Scouting video series for the Idaho hunter and acclaimed fishing and huntall-time record. Department of Fish & Game (IFG). ing expert whom every filmmaker should The big reason elk thrive in Idaho is due There are three ways to hunt elk in know. Bryan has lived in the Treasure to the land itself. Much of the Gem State’s Idaho. Rifles are by the far the most Valley for over 20 years and hunted in 34 million acres of public land is as remote popular method, followed by the more the Gem State for longer. as any you’ll find outside of Now raising a family of his Alaska. That’s more than “Most states go from 0 to 6 on the danger scale. own in Idaho, Bryan grew 60% of the state and elk Not Idaho. It goes from 0 to 12.” up in Oregon and was can be found in every unit. introduced to the world of “The Idaho backcountry hunting early. is very tantalizing to people who like to challenging means of bow hunting and “My dad took great interest in the the old-school muzzleloaders. According put themselves in real predicaments,” Brywide-ranging skill set of trapping and to Idaho Fish & Game, hunters harvest- an says, flashing his dry wit. “A lot of the when I was around seven, he started to ed 22,776 elk in Idaho in 2020, the sixth places elk live are as rugged as just about teach me things—like how to sit still and highest total of all time. This continues a any place on earth. There aren’t a lot of camouflage yourself, where to set up, where decade-long trend that has been dubbed states where you can get yourself in a jam to walk and not walk, and to be aware that like you can here. Most states go from 0 to the “second Golden Age of elk hunting” the animals were always out there watch6 on the danger scale. Not Idaho. It goes by the IFG’s Deer/Elk Program coordiing, listening, and smelling, too,” recalls from 0 to 12.” nator, Rick Ward. BY MIKE MCKENNA



Well-earned rewards of hunting.

Only 23% of all elk hunts in the state were successful last year. That’s a lot of walking and scouting (and whiskey drinking) for such a low rate of success. While elk hunting can lead you into some stunning scenery, it certainly isn’t easy access. “A fundamental quality of any successful hunter is having an appetite for failure,” Bryan says, in a voice that is familiar to anyone who has watched the IFG’s YouTube channel or “Endless September” from the Full Draw Film Tour. Failure is a part of the endeavor. Elk are beautiful and nearly as big as horses, but they’re also exceptionally agile and extremely wily. And fast. They continue to thrive in much of the Northern Rockies for good reasons. “You fail a lot when you’re hunting elk, especially with a bow,” Bryan says. “You can’t beat yourself up over it every time your lottery ticket doesn’t come in. Sure, dumb luck can certainly happen. But your goal needs to be to learn something every time you go out and not just expect to fill your freezer.” One of the big keys to being a good hunter, Bryan says, is simply being observant. “Finding tracks, seeing movement in the distance, noticing grasses that have been grazed, listening carefully, always feeling the wind ‘like a trout in the river,’” as Bryan puts it. Bryan is also well-known in the fly fishing world for his inspiring short film, “The Doc of the Drakes.” 26


“Sometimes you just have to be as still as granite and become part of the scenery,” he advises. Idaho prides itself on having responsible outdoorsmen. With the state growing dramatically in population in recent years, being a good hunter has never been more important. “A perfect weekend in Idaho is different for everybody. We all love our public lands in different ways,” Bryan points out. “So you want to be mindful and respectful of others. Gut piles and dead animals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. There are so many things about hunting that aren’t appealing to others. But they all probably do something that I might

find offensive as well and I don’t want them shoving it in my face, either. ” Part of being a good hunter is being considerate of others as well as of the resources and natural surroundings. “Leave No Trace” is the mantra of all good Idaho recreationists. “The shining light of elk hunting in Idaho is the amount of public lands available. The diversity of landscapes where elk can live here is astounding,” Bryan says, reminding us that it’s important that we treat the elk and their habitat with the utmost respect. “You have a choice about how you are as a hunter,” Bryan says. “So why not be a good guy?”

ELK STATS ➤ Rocky Mountain Elk ➤ Species: Cervus elaphus ➤ “Wapiti” – Shawnee term for “white or pale deer” ➤ Idaho Population: *120,000+ *Idaho Department of Fish & Game reports that 16 of 22 elk zones in the state are within or above management objectives. Elk are considered a species of “Least Concern.” • A large member of the deer family, elk average about 5 feet tall at the shoulders and 8 feet long. • They are herbivores with an average life span of 8 to 12 years, but can live well into their 20s. • Elk like company and their herds can be in the hundreds. • They have a matriarchal hierarchy. • Calves are born in the 30-pound range and full adult bulls can weigh over 700 pounds. • Elk can run up to 35 mph and jump fences up to 8 feet tall. • Only bulls grow antlers, which can weigh up to 40 pounds. • Elk are very vocal and will bark, bugle, squeal, and grunt.




The majority of cyber attacks come from criminal organizations; however, nation states backing cyber attacks in the U.S. has become one of the large challenges facing our country. Nation states have resources beyond most criminal organizations’ capabilities. “Our adversaries are willing to spend unlimited amounts of money creating a team environment, giving them all the technology they could possibly consume and as much time as that team wants… to embed itself into our infrastructure and to potentially impact us kinetically through a cyber attack,” says Edward Vasko, Director of the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity at Boise State University. The hacker group known as Cozy Bear is an example of a nation state-backed group. According to The Washington Post, it is part of the Russian foreign intelligence service. The group is believed to be responsible for the SolarWinds incident 28

that allowed them to access the network of 30,000 public and private organizations in the U.S. However, the Russian government denies involvement. The SolarWinds incident highlighted the importance of software supply chain security. Most people think that technology is the biggest defense in cybersecurity, but this incident occurred due to a faulty business process. SolarWinds offers IT management software that essentially acts as an administrator for the system using it. According to, in early 2020, hackers successfully added malicious code into SolarWinds’ software system. The breach went undetected and the company sent out an update to their clients, which is common practice with software products. The update included the malicious code that provided a backdoor into the companies and organizations using it. This gave hackers administrative power in each of the systems they infiltrated, explains Vasko. SolarWinds has many

high-profile clients, including government agencies like the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce and even the U.S. cybersecurity firm, FireEye. “We’ve known for a time that the source code supply chain could be compromised,” says Vasko. Twenty or thirty years ago, companies built source code for their technology platforms in-house. For example, Microsoft had a team of people dedicated to building out Word. The world has since shifted to using distributed code. Let’s say a person builds a great piece of code that would take anyone a long time to build. Instead of someone else building that code from scratch again, they can license that code from the first creator. “You can reduce your cost to build out a new platform and increase the speed you can get to market,” Vasko explains. That code is then embedded into a platform and product. Anyone can build and sell modules of code in different marketplaces. The problem lies in verifying the


“...good cyber defenses must address technology, as well as people and processes.” sources and identifying the responsible party for code that gets distributed. Sometimes code is built maliciously to have backdoors. That code can be implemented by someone who is trying to build a good module. But with bad code embedded in the good code, you have a cuckoo’s egg. The more it gets used, the further it spreads. “Unfortunately, as with any major event, there’s a reaction,” says Vasko. “As much as we would love people to be proactive, the majority of industries respond after an event occurs. Now that the SolarWinds intrusion occurred, you’re seeing the federal government issuing mandates that demand source code supply chain controls in understanding who your source code partners are. You’re keeping track and making sure that person isn’t using someone else’s code. If they are, they disclose where that code came from. You can move down the chain to see if there is a weak link and weed out any potential cuckoo’s eggs.”


Edward Vasko, Director of the Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity at Boise State University.

The SolarWinds incident is an example of hackers exploiting the business process that allowed bad code to sneak in. “Someone at SolarWinds simply ‘approved’ the code for inclusion and released it, bad code and all,” says Vasko. However, good cyber defenses must address technology, as well as people and processes. One common attack called spearfishing targets a specific person in a company and tries to exploit the relationship they have with their coworkers. Let’s say attackers profile a CEO. They discover from his social media post that he is on vacation. At that point, an attacker creates a fake email that looks very similar to the CEO’s. Posing as the CEO on vacation, they send an email to employees asking them to initiate a wire transfer to a new client. Chances are, if the CEO is on vacation, he won’t be answering his phone if they try to verify the transaction. An “ö” instead of an “o” can be the only difference between a correct or fraudulent email. Vasko says that this tac-

tic is as prevalent as ransomware and has existed for well over a decade, but people still fall for it. Technology can aid in this instance, filtering emails and tagging errant ones from out of network. With each passing moment, cyber attacks and criminals who design them are becoming more sophisticated. BSU’s cybersecurity curriculum is particularly innovative because it uses an all-encompassing technology, people, and process approach in student education. The university collaborated closely with the Idaho National Laboratory to create the curriculum. Student interns can explore INL’s Cybercore Integration Center that hosts a University Lab dedicated to the collaboration of INL experts and students. Cyber attackers are working this very moment to illegally infiltrate systems for profit and power. Clearly, our national and personal safety depends on cybersecurity systems evolving faster than these IT intruders. BSU is already at the forefront of the future.




Idaho’s Basque Community Gains Direct Channel to Spain


Did you know that the largest concentration of Basque Americans lives in Boise? Approximately 16,000 people strong, this key subset of the city’s cultural diversity centers around the green, red, and white bedecked Basque Block, especially every five years, during the international Jaialdi festival. Like all large gatherings, Jaialdi was postponed for a second year due to COVID-19. But the city’s restrictions and the ongoing public health crisis took an extra toll on members of the Basque community, a typically vibrant and social diaspora that thrives on regularly coming together as a living tradition. “It was especially hard on the older generation,” says Annie Gavica, execu-

tive director of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise. “They’re used to having monthly dinners and near-weekly festivals celebrating their culture and heritage. They were essentially quarantined without being quarantined from the socialization part of it.” Soon, however, members of southern Idaho’s Basque community will be able to access another cultural resource that has a direct line to the Basque region in northern Spain. A new partnership between EVOCA, an over-the-air subscription cable TV company that broadcasts in Idaho and Arizona, and Euska Irrati Telebista (EiTB), the Basque country’s public broadcast service, is bringing a 24-hour Basque television channel to Boise.

ANT! S YOUl, EITBW ANNg EL THE TXNow ! nne Cha que Bas the featurin 30

“We are pretty lucky to have a good relationship with the Basque country itself,” says Gavica. “Anything that enhances that is a welcome addition to the community, and I think having a Basque TV channel will make the experiences on the Basque block more authentic.” “We’re such a great community to try this out,” she continues, adding that EVOCA had reached out to Basque block establishments to offer their programming in those locations. “Everyone I’ve talked to is excited to just hear and practice the language.” Euskara, the Basque language, is considered the main identifying feature of the Basque culture. Euskara is a language isolate, meaning it is not related to any other existing language, and indeed the Basques refer to themselves as Euskaldunak–those who have the Basque

language, says Boise State University professor John Bieter, who specializes in Basque-American history. “Given this connection between the language and culture, any efforts to make it more accessible would be of great benefit to the community,” Bieter says. EiTB offers several channels in the Basque country, including a sports channel and kids programming in Basque. The channel that will be available to EVOCA subscribers in southwest Idaho will offer these options and EiTB’s two general-interest channels. The Basque children’s programming could be especially beneficial in Boise, where BSU professor Nere Lete helped create the Boise Basque preschool–Boise’ko Ikastola–the only one of its kind outside the Basque country. Incidentally, Lete was interviewed on EiTB just this summer. “This addition can help those who are immigrants and those who want to stay connected,” Bieter says. “Communication is essential to staying connected and this could help strengthen that connection considerably.” But there is more at stake than just cultural connections. Of the nearly 7,000 languages spoken on the planet, 50 percent are considered vulnerable to extinction within 70 years from now. Why does this matter? Much more is lost than community connection, especially when a language isolate, like Euskara, disappears as the diaspora focuses on life and languages of the 21st century. All languages maintain an invaluable source of human identity and history that enriches and promotes understanding of our global community.

EVOCA TV understood this value when it launched as a hybrid pay-TV service in Boise in late 2020. With more than 45 channels available, as CEO Todd Achilles says, EVOCA is committed to providing content to the traditionally underserved. Bill Binford, who does content acquisition for EVOCA, says that the idea of bringing a Basque channel to Idaho came to him from working in densely diverse metropolitan areas on the East Coast.

“...the Basque community in Boise has strong cultural roots and it isn’t easy for them to access programming. I’m happy we’re able to provide that...” “It was just instilled in me that if you have a significant language group in a region, and 15,000 out of the total Boise area is sizable, you should cater content to them,” Binford says. “That was just my macro-gravitation, so I started to reach out.” His first call was to Vincent Chabrier, the North American Vice President for THEMA TV, a company that specializes in development and distribution of TV channels around the world. “Bill reached out to me and said, ‘This might be crazy, but could you get the TV channel from the Basque area?’” Chabrier

says. “I was very skeptical because it was a very niche, unique idea.” Chabrier worked with EiTB on a novel distribution model for EVOCA. “We’re not making a lot of money on it, but we like the idea and we’ve been able to pull it together,” Chabrier says. “I know the Basque community in Boise has strong cultural roots and it isn’t easy for them to access programming. I’m happy we’re able to provide that for them.” Technically, the distribution model uses the various broadcast services of EiTB, which has Basque and Spanish language programming, as well as international programming, and condenses it into a single stream that will soon be available 24/7 on EVOCA. “This was one of my favorite accomplishments,” says Chabrier. “We’re targeting a very small community, in a very specific part of the U.S., coming from a very specific part of Europe.” Back in Boise, Professor Bieter sees this improved connection to the Basque country as another opportunity to expose the general public to the value of Basque culture. “Festivals, food, dancing, and singing draw many to Basque culture, but those who are truly drawn in end up being curious about the language,” Bieter says. And as the late, great linguist Michael Krauss said, “When you lose a language and a language goes extinct, it’s like dropping a bomb on the Louvre.” That means EVOCA TV’s Basque channel is more than a niche business idea. This is TV as a cultural champion.



TODD ACHILLES of EVOCA TV Philo Farnsworth was a 21-year-old farm boy when he conceptualized the first fully functional electronic television, inspired in design by the series of lines from the back-and-forth pattern used to plow potato fields surrounding his Rigby, Idaho, home. “I like to joke that nothing since Philo’s invention has been as cutting-edge in Idaho TV as EVOCA,” says Todd Achilles, CEO of the company that’s bringing the newest development in television technology to the Gem State. Like Farnsworth, Achilles grew up on a small farm, albeit in Oregon. “I know what it’s like to not be in a metro area, struggling for resources, where second-tier communities receive the short shrift in everything, including technology.” A former Army tank officer and executive at T-Mobile and Hewlett-Packard, Achilles has made a career of leadership in product engineering and marketing in the tech sector. Stepping up to advance the TV industry’s first ATSC 3.0 over-the-air and internet broadcasting service, he sees his role as a trailblazer in next-gen education and high-quality content, serving underserved markets, like Idaho, for a fraction of the cost of current cable/satellite service companies. In other words, EVOCA is positioned to be the Robin Hood of broadcast television at a monthly cost of $9.50 per month with the “founders program.” For a lifetime. (Streaming services not included.) EVOCA has also launched in Phoenix and Colorado. “The average U.S. household spends $109 per month for cable and satellite service,” says Achilles. “EVOCA even provides our own receiver, The Scout, and an over-the-air antenna to access our programming. For free. Forget installers and installation fees forever.” Ask any pioneer, however, and they’ll attest that progress, by definition, forges into the unknown, inherently presenting unknown challenges. Farnsworth spent a


Todd and Robyn Achilles enjoy living in Ketchum, Idaho. Below: The EVOCA Scout

lifetime in patent-infringement lawsuits against RCA. “There’s so much potential with 3.0,” says Achilles. “We’re offering wireless access to streaming video channels as an affordable alternative to the big guys.” How those “big guys,” conglomerates like Sparklight and Dish TV, react and adapt to next-gen TV is yet to be seen. But beyond its pricing and technology differentials, EVOCA positions itself as the champion of locally relevant programming. For example, EVOCA’s Basque channel is profiled in this issue. Again, Achilles’ childhood experience on the farm informed the concept. “We raised sheep,” he explains. “And my mom loved Basque culture and took us to the Basque Museum. So, the idea for the channel arose organically when our team started brainstorming how we could offer something different, meaningful, and Idaho-specific.” Achilles laughs, adding, “Personally, I’d like to do an Idaho geology channel.” Could there be any more relevant programming in the Gem State? “Local programming helps people, especially kids k-12, understand where they are and also think outside of their surround-

ings,” says Achilles. “Whether they are watching in Rupert, or Twin, or Eagle, this is how we can contribute to the community. I think this is what broadcast used to do and that has gotten lost in media battles, consolidation, market share, and politics. This technology allows little guys like us to have a pair of TV stations in Boise and do something totally new. And good.” One can’t help but wonder what Philo Farnsworth would say if he could see that Idaho is once again the testing grounds for cutting-edge television. No doubt, Todd Achilles, himself a holder of two U.S. patents, would suggest they start an Idaho inventors channel.


The Birds and the (Backyard) Bees BY HEATHER HAMILTON-POST

Gabrielle Marcantonio and Pedro Martinez stand on their patio, the table heaped with the produce they’ve spent the morning gathering from their garden, which spans about a third of an acre. As Gabby explains how they’ve discovered and redefined community through a desire to feed friends and family, Pedro moves in the background, visibly sucking in air. “Oh!” Gabby laughs. “He just took a bite of a spicy pepper we grew!” The pepper is one of around 1,000 different plants growing in the couple’s urban garden, which changes every year. This year, they explain, they planted a lot of medicinal things for pollinators, “At the end of which is something they’re the day, if we’re trying to be more conscious helping in our tiny of since welcoming the neighborhood, bees. “The pandemic showed it’s mission us that our food systems accomplished.” are very vulnerable; it’s been a stark reminder of just how fragile they are. But people have 34

been doing this (beekeeping and growing food) for a long time,” Pedro says, gesturing toward the towering garden. Like many of us, Gabby and Pedro adopted a few pandemic pets. Unlike most of us though, their pets are largely self-sustainable, help the garden, and produce delicious honey. “The bees are amazing little creatures. I love them so much it makes me want to cry,” laughs Gabby. “And our garden is on steroids now,” Pedro adds. They’ve also seen cross pollination happening–plants that grow both pepperoncinis and jalapenos, for example. In many ways, the bees are a happy accident. A friend purchased a hive, but had reservations about his space, so early in the pandemic, he passed it on to Gabby and Pedro. “It just fell into our laps, and we had this huge garden anyway. I didn’t want to focus on the negative, so I just decided to put my hands in the dirt,” Pedro says. Soon after, the couple put their hands in more than dirt, filling their inherited hive with bees that had to be relocated from a hive in a tree in their yard. When word got out that they were in the business of relocating bees, they began getting calls from people who knew people who needed help. Apparently, it is relatively easy to find secondhand bee boxes, and with a little TLC and artwork

“They’re giving us this beautiful gift, and the least we can do for them is try and keep them safe,” by Gabby and her mother, they make a happy home for bee populations. Gabby describes the wild bees (whom they refer to as wildlings) as mild-tempered and beautiful, and says they happily share the garden with all sorts of other bee colonies. One of the great things about backyard beekeeping is that anybody can do it. Bee boxes are easy to obtain, and don’t require much space, especially if your neighbors embrace them, and they should–bees typically fly up and simply get to work, leaving humans alone. To begin, Pedro explains that you should purchase a bee nucleus, which consists of a queen, three frames with brood of all stages, and two outer frames with

honey, pollen, and bees. You can buy one locally or online, and the options are endless. Of course, if a colony gets too big, they’ll just pack up and leave, which happened to Pedro and Gabby when they didn’t grow the box quickly enough. “But we’re learning as we go,” Pedro says. Pedro and Gabby occasionally harvest honey, but as we move into winter, they’re mostly focused on keeping the bees alive through what may be an extra chilly season. “They’re giving us this beautiful gift, and the least we can do for them is try and keep them safe,” Gabby says. Right now, their bees vary, and include Italian bees and American bees, which are different in color. Since the bees came

to live alongside them, Pedro and Gabby say they’ve delighted in studying their behavior, which they describe as “a welloiled machine.” As Pedro explains, “It’s a community, and everybody knows their job. They don’t complain, they just support each other.” Gabby, who didn’t love bugs before the bees, says she’s become more tolerant too. “At the end of the day, if we’re helping in our tiny neighborhood, it’s mission accomplished, you know?” Pedro says. “If this is part of the small legacy that we have–to help the earth grow, to help these little creatures survive,” Gabby declares, pausing, “that’s special.”



“Across the West, farmland is disappearing, and Idaho is no exception.” COURTESY OF BOISEOG.COM



In just five years, Idaho has lost approximately 100,000 acres of farmland. In areas of Boise, wells are drying up rapidly, a reaction to the accelerated development that cannot come close to satisfying the demand for housing throughout the Treasure Valley. Our agricultural landscape is different now, although you can still see our origins reflected in surprising places– the sun setting over a field adjacent to The Village at Meridian, a small dairy nestled amongst the houses, and a high school in once rural Kuna. Ray Nebeker, who pauses to step down from his tractor, has been farming since he was a kid in high school–over 50 years in total. His farm is 120 acres, but he manages someone else’s 1,000-acre farm too. Between them, he says he grows “every crop under the sun,” and also raises livestock. But today’s Kuna isn’t the same city where he began his career. “It started all of a sudden in 1970. The baby boomers started

buying homes and then we started getting real subdivisions. And now? The Treasure Valley is rapidly changing,” Nebeker says. Across the West, farmland is disappearing, and Idaho is no exception. Researchers at Boise State University specializing in urban projections speculate that the state, now 22% farmland, will be largely converted to developed land use by 2100. The makeup is changing too–in a presentation through the Idaho Humanities Council, Boise State University’s Dr. Jodi Brandt and Dr. Rebecca Som Castellano explain that there are certainly fewer farms, but they tend to be larger. “Family farms accounted for 90 percent of farms with at least a million dollars in sales in 2015 and produced 83 percent of production from million-dollar farms,” explains Som Castellano. “But the term ‘family farm’ can be somewhat misleading.” She explains that, especially now, family farms tend to be large-scale, which is largely due to necessity.

One of Nebeker’s sons farms with him now, and would probably do it forever, but uncertainty about the future of farming in the Treasure Valley has Nebeker unconvinced that his son will be able to make a living, given all the challenges farmers experience in the face of development. “A young guy can’t even afford to go into farming,” Nebeker explains. And there are other challenges–subdivisions bring traffic and neighbors who aren’t always patient with farm equipment on the roads, occasional dust, and noise. Som Castellano echoes this, adding that studies indicate that rural areas will be more likely to suffer from a changing climate too. “We’ve found that local farmers are facing some of these challenges and are really working to figure out innovative ways of addressing these and various other pressures they face,” Som Castellano says. But innovation can be a big ask for folks sometimes struggling to make a profit, especially when they’re doing their jobs well and already providing a net benefit to the community. “For a few days and nights, we’re a big nuisance, but then a farm is an awful good neighbor for a subdivision,” Nebeker affirms. It is a mostly uphill battle for folks who depend on their land to fund retirement, and most farmers, from where Nebeker stands, retire too late to enjoy it anyway. “Every time we have an incident when somebody complains, that’s one more reason to be encouraged to sell. It’s very hard when you’re sitting on multiple millions of dollars worth of assets and you’re making below a poverty wage because you put everything you gain back into your operation,” he says. Selling the ground for development, as opposed to farming, is far more lucrative. “It sells for probably ten times the value. It’s a no-brainer for anyone who owns ground and is getting older,” Nebeker explains. For Nebeker and others who have grown up in Idaho’s sleepy rural places, seeing housing developments pop up where sprawling fields of lush Idaho crops once

spread out as far as the eye could see is harrowing. The nostalgic pull of our agricultural roots reminds us that growth, in all its forms, can be difficult. “A sense of place, the beauty of the landscape, sentimental attachment, a feeling of local heritage–these are the other reasons that preserving farmland can be really beneficial to rural communities and people from urban places near those rural communities,” Som Castellano says. Nebeker, a lifelong farmer, agrees. “I don’t like to see it, but I’m not totally against it. You cannot argue with progress. The only thing constant is change,” he says.



Idaho B Corps and Certified Companies Partner for GOOD Social Justice Alley at Oliver Russell: a concrete reminder to GIVE BACK. BY SAMANTHA STETZER

Russ Stoddard was a river guide, journalist, published poet, and corporate employee before merging his professional expertise with a personal calling more than 30 years ago. “I just always had it in me [that] I wanted to create a company that was more meaningful than just making financial profits and figure out how I could use my limited time on the planet and the resources I have,” Stoddard says. That “more meaningful” agenda led to the founding of Oliver Russell, a Boise-based “social impact” marketing agency. It soon CREATING GOOD When Cherie Hoeger formed Saalt, a sustainable period care and menstruation cup company in 2018, obtaining a B Corp certification was an inherent part of the plan. Today, as a certified B Corp, Saalt donates 2% of all its revenue to period

became the second certified B Corp in Idaho and the first Public Benefit Corporation in the state. Since then, numerous Idaho and Treasure Valley businesses employing the B Corp model have obtained the rigorously-earned third-party certification. By doing so, these businesses commit to give back through profits, actions, and in-house policies. Stoddard and other local B Corp business leaders consider the certification a promise to their employees, consumers, community, and the world that business can manifest as much global good as profit.

programs across the globe, including in Venezuela, where her husband’s aunt outlined deplorable conditions for women and girls in need of period products, a conversation that inspired Hoeger to form the company. Today, Saalt has donated nearly 30,000 cups in 35 countries.

Cherie Hoeger displays the SAALT sustainable menstrual cup.



“The combination of the for-profit and not-for-profit models allowed us to bring our personal dream of philanthropy and use it within a business structure,” Hoeger says. The company’s practical function, which is manufacturing period care products, mirrors its purpose. Profit has followed. “Menstrual health, education, and sustainability” is the job and the mission, Hoeger explains. The company’s B Corp ethics are also reflected internally, providing flexible hours and in-house daycare to help their employees offset the costs of childcare. Clean-up efforts for environmental protection, social-good media campaigns, and menstrual educational programs in Kenya and Nepal reflect the company’s global impact. Likewise, Oliver Russell uses its B Corp status to give back.


“Holy smokes, what are the ways that we aren’t giving back?” Stoddard says with a wry chuckle. The first B Corp to operate in Idaho, Oliver Russell has prospered for years while doing pro bono public relations work, donating 1% of its profits to environmental groups, supporting the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley for local conservation efforts, playing a sizeable role in creating the Hulls Gulch hiking

Left: LOVEVERY Co-Founders, Jessica Rolph, CEO, and Rod Morris, President. Right: Play tools by LOVEVERY are good for kids and the community.

greenwashing,” Morris says. “They are well-supported as individuals and have the opportunity to enact meaningful change…” In other words, working at a B Corp pays the bills and makes a difference in the world.

“...we try to create [a business] that differentiates itself by having benefits that many established companies don’t have.” area, and donating about $3 million since its inception. And Oliver Russell’s success continues to serve as a replicable role model that inspires more companies to walk the “good” walk. Lovevery, a Boise-based startup that produces stage-based learning and play tools to promote childhood development, recently became Idaho’s newest certified B Corp. “Giveback” categories endeavor to support three categories: climate change, equity and inclusion, and education access as explained by co-founder Jessica Rolph, CEO, co-founder of the Climate Collaborative, and a mother of three. Notably, local actions of Lovevery include co-creating a children’s book highlighting the Schitsu’umsh people’s language and culture with an Idaho family. The goal, says co-founder Rod Morris, is to empower employees to shape community change with Lovevery’s support and opportunities. “Our employees recognize that we’re doing more than paying lip service or

CREATING COMMUNITY These leaders all agree that the B Corp model helps build value for the communities where they are headquartered. “You look at the workplace, we try to create [a business] that differentiates itself by having benefits that many established companies don’t have,” Stoddard says. “The way that translates into the community is happy workers, happy families, happy communities.” And if one B Corp acting on its own proved beneficial, the potential power of multiple B Corps banding together inspired the inception of Idaho for Good, a collective of Idaho B Corps and other businesses with third-party certifications, such as fair trade and 1% for the Planet companies. This organization provides networking, mentorship, and connection. Lovevery, Oliver Russell, and Saalt all played a part in founding Idaho for Good, which hosted its first event this summer.

“We just want a platform of like-minded business people,” says Social Responsibility Coordinator for Saalt, Hillary Xoumanivong. “The B Corp model works great for a lot of people, and for others, it does not. But that doesn’t mean they’re not doing good. That’s why we named it Idaho for Good.” Oliver Russell’s Social Impact Specialist, Sienna George, explains how their company continues to expand efforts to support established B Corps and guide more new companies aspiring to certification with three versions of an online workshop called “B Corp Basics.” The online primer provides an understanding and examples of how these corporations operate successfully, and is available in both Spanish and English versions. Moving forward, Idaho for Good and its founders plan to host events and continue to provide resources and mentoring. Xoumanivong sees it as the collective connection many B Corps struggle to find, especially in a profit-driven world. “Sometimes you just feel like you’re working in a silo and you’re just spinning your wheels doing what you can,” Xoumanivong says. “Idaho for Good’s most recent event was very exciting, and it makes us look forward to the future and be hopeful about what’s to come.” If the actionable results of these companies are a signal of what’s to come, Idahoans will continue to be the lucky beneficiaries of their vision, generosity, and hard work. No doubt, Idaho’s B Corps offer a good role model in business and in life for us all.



When we hear the term “leaving a legacy,” we often think of inheritances, financial endowments, art, literature, world records, unimagined accomplishments. In simple terms, a legacy is a message passed on from one generation to another. One can do many great things and leave a formidable legacy… or do nothing and leave a legacy of another kind. The impact can be positive, negative, neutral, non-existent, or even evil. A lasting legacy is all about the actions you take during your life and the way those actions are remembered and shared. However, a legacy is contextual. The same behavior can be heralded by some and denigrated by others. And so it is, our legacies are complex and often competing. From my earliest memories, the women and elders in my family instilled consistent messages about the importance and value of honoring, living, and sharing legacy. These were directives, not suggestions. · The wisdom of women folk: Take heed.

· Nanny: A Charge to Keep Have I, God to Glorify · A Chorus of Elders: Endow the future. · Mom: Leave a legacy.

· The songs of my faith:

O’ Lord, don’t move the mountain O’ Give me the strength to climb

O’ Please don’t move those stumblin’ blocks O’ Just lead me all around

I heard the messages about the importance of being prayerful and open to receive my calling from friends, neighbors, strangers, and the writings of so many. My upbringing was grounded in the belief that I must honor the sacrifices and triumphs of those who came before me by doing my part to advance and acknowledge the contributions of my generation. I can’t help but wonder how many children are introduced to such a concept today. The good news is that it’s never too late to leave a legacy. Some people even wait until they’re dead– though I wouldn’t suggest that. Instead, I implore you to be courageous as you make your way in the world that you might leave that legacy that is your calling. Summon and engage the four forms of courage about which Gordon Barnhart wrote: The courage to see and speak the truth, to create and champion a vision, to persevere and hold the course, to collaborate with others. I grew up believing in possibilities, not doubting, but planning for contingencies. I was taught to view being female and Black as competitive advantages. The critical factors or how that would play out were up to me to define. I was lucky to be encouraged by amazing people, who believed in preparing for a richer, more equitable future. I have been the “only” in much of my life, so I developed the perspective, “If not me, then who? Why not me, or us?” The “Pink Tree” at CBW City Park.

Boise mayor Lauren McLean unveils Cherie Buckner-Webb City Park with yours truly, and my granddaughter, Junior.

Leaving a legacy is about congruence in doing, being, living, and perspective. Preparation is needed. I encourage you to broaden your horizons, connect and engage authentically; you will be richer for it. Nurture relationships, share yourself, engage, risk a bit, find your joy! Consciously, courageously build, renew, and revive relationships. We need each other more than ever! How to build a legacy? Purposefully seek to make this world a better place for all. Who knows, you might just get a city park as your family namesake. Finally, I offer you Cherie’s 7 Ups: 1. Stand up: Commit to excellence. Be loyal to yourself, to the team, the mission, the organization.

2. Show up: Be there attending fully, dependably, participating, representing.

3. Speak up: Find your voice, use it effectively, speak plainly and concisely. 4. Shut up: Know when to be still and listen. Know that listening is not only an art, it is also a leadership skill. 5. Make up: Reconciliation will be necessary. There are no perfect relationships among human beings. Demonstrate compassion. Humanity cannot survive without it.

6. Re-up: Periodically take time to recommit, review the purpose, seek clarity, and obtain good counsel as needed. 7. Look up: Call on that power greater than yourself, seek strength and direction. 40




Alicia C. Ralston 208-850-7638

Alicia C. Ralston 208-850-7638 www.ra ls t ongroupproper ti es. com



Articles inside

The Enduring Power of Bronco Nation article cover image

The Enduring Power of Bronco Nation

pages 14-16
Leaving a Legacy article cover image

Leaving a Legacy

pages 42, 44
Better Together article cover image

Better Together

pages 40-41
Put Out to Pasture article cover image

Put Out to Pasture

pages 38-39
The Birds and the (Backyard) Bees article cover image

The Birds and the (Backyard) Bees

pages 36-37
Basque Me in the Pyrenees article cover image

Basque Me in the Pyrenees

pages 32-33
Beyond Drought article cover image

Beyond Drought

pages 22-23, 25
The West Is Best for Artist Ed Anderson article cover image

The West Is Best for Artist Ed Anderson

pages 20-21
CEO Spotlight article cover image

CEO Spotlight

page 35
Cybersecurity article cover image


pages 30-31
Chasing Elk article cover image

Chasing Elk

pages 27-28
A New Era for the Broncos article cover image

A New Era for the Broncos

pages 10-13