fundraising program within our mem-
bership. In 2003, we created a unique
children’s coloring book starring a nanny
goat and her kid grazing along the Weiser
River Trail.
Goats eat only a select type of noxious
weed, so FWRT treats other noxious
weed species with a combination of
mechanical methods, biological controls
and herbicides.
What other fundraising
techniques have you used
to support the trail?
My original involvement with FWRT
was in grant writing, bringing in over
$352,000 in the early years of the trail’s
evolution. Since then, we’ve used various
other fundraising approaches.
In 2000, we started the Weiser River
Trail Fund with $28,000 donated by
FWRT member Patricia Pontefract.
is endowment fund within the Idaho
Community Foundation has grown to
more than $260,000 and yielded a
distribution of over $7,000 in 2012.
A big fund producer is the annual
Tickets Fore Charity” program through
the Albertsons Boise Open golf tourna-
ment. All [proceeds from] ticket sales go
directly to local nonprofit organizations,
resulting in $300,000 in contributions to
FWRT between 2001 and 2013.
e point-of-purchase “Home Town
Advantage Program” through Ridley’s
Family Markets yields about $6,000 to
$8,000 annually to FWRT. From a list of
more than 100 charities, store customers
select the one charity to which they
wish to donate their points. Funds from
accumulated points are paid quarterly
to each charity, at no additional cost to
the shopper or charity. Over a 10-year
period, contributions to FWRT through
the Home Town Advantage Program have
totaled over $71,000.
Annual trail events such as the bike
ride in the spring, the 50K relay and solo
run in April, the four-day wagon train
ride in May, the equestrian poker ride in
July and the two-day October bicycle ride
introduce outdoor enthusiasts to the trail
and raise approximately $7,500 per year.
Many years we receive matching
grants from the Recreational Trails
Program administered through the Idaho
Department of Parks and Recreation.
Membership dues add $20,000 to
$25,000 to help support the $120,000
yearly budget.
What advice do you have for
volunteers involved in developing
local rail-trails?
FWRT has a policy of trying to under-
stand our neighbors’ concerns, and to go
the extra mile to find common ground
and a workable solution to their problems.
You have to pick your battles. You can’t
address all the challenges at one time.
What new challenge is FWRT
facing now?
Our goal is to extend the northern por-
tion of the trail from the current terminus
at the West Pine trailhead near Rubicon
to the old train depot in New Meadows,
a distance of about five miles. Members
of the New Meadows community tried
working with the current landowner for
access to the desired area, but to no avail.
We now are looking into building a trail
within the U.S. Highway 95 right-of-way
that would connect the trailhead to the
historic New Meadows depot.
Natalie Bartley is a freelance outdoor writer/
photographer based in Idaho.
R A O R D I N A I R E :
corridor. As a volunteer, I knew I could
assist Shirley with many jobs and help
with fundraising. We have so much fun
doing it. We bounce everything off each
other. Her passion is now my passion.
Not a day goes by without our engaging
in Weiser River Trail discussions.
One of the biggest challenges is
controlling noxious weeds along
the trail. How is this being done?
We use goats! As manager of our noxious
weed treatment program, I attend coop-
erative weed management area monthly
meetings in Adams and Washington coun-
ties. At an Adams County meeting a few
years ago I heard about leafy spurge, a nox-
ious weed that is taking over the drainage
areas of the Weiser River in Washington
County. A county weed advisory board
member presented the idea of using goats
to lower the density of the weed by graz-
ing on it. By 2002, the goat project was
in action. Some years, up to 1,000 nanny
goats and their kids graze on both sides of
the Weiser River Trail corridor. ey look
pretty impressive.
e Idaho Department of Agriculture
provides funds that pay a large percentage
of fees to the goat contractor for partici-
pating in the leafy spurge noxious weed
management program. e contractor
provides goats, herders, dogs, a truck,
a camp trailer and a boat. As FWRT’s
volunteer coordinator on the project, I
pioneered a successful “Adopt a Goat”