Idaho Aviation Foundation (IAF) is closing in on the goal to break ground and erect the log shell structure in 2015 structure and to complete it next year. On June 1 2015, IAF received notification that the USFS has given Engineering Approval for the building design and engineering. This important approval means we have done our job with the USFS and they approve of the lodge design and all engineering associated with it. This, along with two other big approvals means we are only one step away from gaining final approval to build Big Creek Lodge. The final step is for the USFS to finalize the coordination of other Regulatory Approvals to include other Federal agencies plus other USFS partners.

IAF also received approval for the Master Development Plan (MDP) and the 2015 Site Operations Plan. “The MDP outlines the 30 year plan for Big Creek Lodge, and the approval means that IAF and PNF are aligned regarding future operations and improvements, and further illustrates the strong USFS support of this project,” said Jim Davies, President of IAF. The 2015 Operations Plan is also important because it outlines this year’s site projects apart from the lodge building itself. The Operations approval means IAF can now finalize Central District Health (CDH) acceptance of the septic plan. CDH is well aware of the plan, but required USFS approval before they could extend their approval. IAF expects to begin installation of the new septic system installation in July.

The above approvals, along with letters and verbal indications from USFS reassure us that PNF will now finalize the approval by coordinating with the other Regulatory Agencies such as Fish and Game and others. Assuming final approval is made early enough this summer, IAF intends tobuild the foundation and shell this year, and complete the project in 2016. From a fund raising perspective, IAF is very close to having funds available to accomplish the objectives for 2015. Approximately $70,000 of incremental funds from the public are needed this year to accomplish the objectives, and a separate fundraising plan is in place for 2016 to complete the project.

Yurt for web outsideThe Idaho Aviation Foundation recently accepted a generous gift from Kif and Dawn Brown of Idaho.  The Browns donated a parcel of land and a beautiful yurt with wood-fired hot tub and sauna located a little over one mile from the Big Creek lodge site.  The yurt will be used to augment the lodge rooms after the lodge is erected, and may be available for rent in the summer of 2015.  It would appeal to people who would like to have a large, comfortable shelter with cooking amenities, while enjoying a little more rustic experience than the lodge would provide.  Please read the article in memory of Kif Brown and why this yurt was important to him and his wife, Dawn.  Remembering Kif Brown 

The beautifully constructed yurt has a wooden floor, four bunk beds, and a can comfortably sleep eight.  It is equipinterior yurt bunks long view webped with a propane refrigerator, propane stove, cooking utensils, and Fisher Mama Bear Woodstove for those chilly nights.  Visitors will also be able to enjoy a wood heated hot tub and sauna.  Guests can take in all the Big Creek area offers - fishing, epic hiking, or just enjoying the views and wildlife, and then cook their meals and enjoy a dip in the hot tub.

The Idaho  backcountry cannot be owned but Kif and Dawn's gift and stewardship will provide a way for visitors to enjoy the backcountry in the future.  Kif's wife, Dawn, explains the importance of the yurt this way: "Kif fell in love with the Idaho backcountry from the very first and we decided to make it a big part of our lives.  He was so happy to be able to share our little piece of it with fellow backcountry enthusiasts for generations to come."

"We are humbled that Kif and Dawn thought of the IAF and the Big Creek Lodge project for this donation," said IAF Vice President Colleen Back.  "per their wishes, we intend to have the yurt available for reasonainterior yurt stove webble rental to guests in the summer and will do what we can to accommodate prepared and experienced winter visitors as well."  She went on to note that winter operations are not going to be offered at the lodge, but winter guests may be permitted to use the yurt with certain requirements.  IAF will provide details for those wishing to rent the yurt later this spring.  "We may have uses for the yurt for IAF needs in the short term as we move closer to a ground breaking for the lodge project, but it is entirely possible we will be able to rent the yurt during the summer of 2015," she went on to say.

If you would like further information about the yurt rental when it becomes available, please email IAF at





Set your calendar, and RSVP for a fun evening at the beautiful Warhawk Air Museum on the Nampa Airport.  This event is designed to appeal to pilots and non pilots alike.  We hope you will invite family, friends, veterans, and history lovers.  You will dine among beautiful WWII era artifacts, includingWarhawk Museum cars, planes, and other displays from that time.  Dance to Big Band Music, and bid on a few unique items that will be on silent auction.  And, maybe you will even win the 1945 Willys Jeep that will be raffled that night! There will be no 'presentation' during the evening, apart from some acknowledgements and a WWII artifact donation to the museum--so the evening is yours to just enjoy friends and the aura of the Warhawk Air Museum.  If you wish, come in 1940's attire, or simply dress up in modern style for the event on Nov 1, from 6:30pm-10:00pm.  IAF wishes to thank the Warhawk for supporting this non profit fund-raising event, and if you haven't visited the Warhawk in a while, you are in for a treat!  

A fine buffet meal will include top sirloin with mushroom reduction; artichoke/parmesan chicken and quinoa/herb stuffed peppers (vegetarian and gluten-free) along with garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed vegetables and a tasty pear/candied walnut salad.  Tickets are $65, and includes museum admission, dinner, pre-dinner drink, wine with dinner, dancing and great camaraderie.  A cash bar will also be provided. Please contact Nadine now to reserve your tickets--we will bill you later:  208-861-9056 or email  

Willys JeepA very few 1945 Willys Jeep raffle tickets remain available for sale at the door.  We will draw the winner of the Jeep during the event--click here for more information.

We sure could use some help in the following areas:

 * Volunteer bakers to bring deserts (which will be bid on by the guests in a fun way to select desert);

 * Individuals to bring unique, salable items for silent auction ($25-$5000 in value)

 * For information on donations/deserts--contact Colleen at 208-859-2471 or .

On Aug 23 from 8-10 am, the Breakfast Event at Big Creek will be a very special one.  The Payette National Forest (USFS) will kick off their Celebration of Wilderness with our breakfast event.  After breakfast, you can enjoy some music, and talk with Earl Dodds, long time ranger from the 50s-80s--plus see wilderness tools and a pack string demo.  It has been 50 years since the Wilderness Act was created.  Here is information from the Payette National Forest who is putting on the program after breakfast:

USFS Aug 23 Wilderness Sched