Past Projects

IAF Rebuilds Big Creek Lodge
Fly Idaho! Book Set
Garden Valley Airstrip Shower Facilities
Reed Ranch Airstrip
Firepans at Moose Creek Airstrip

Current Projects

Idaho Aviation License Plates

IAF Project

Aviation enthusiasts have another way to display their love for flying in Idaho. By purchasing a "Fly Idaho" license plate, they will also be supporting organizations that work to preserve and enhance the airstrips that help make Idaho a special place for pilots. This fantastic product is due to the persistence of the Idaho Aviation Foundation's own Larry Taylor who shepherded it through the state legislative process for over a year.
This special program is in jeopardy of being cancelled unless you act now. Last year the legislature passed a law that will end Idaho’s “Fly Idaho” specialty license plate program this July unless at least 600 more vehicle owners buy the plates—or unless the Legislature amends the law it passed last year.   

Please encourage your friends and family to buy the Aviation license plates online at  

There is no need to wait for your plate renewal month. Sign up now and the cost is prorated.  

In addition,  it is time for our senators to hear from their constituents- YOU. You can find your legislators at

   You will see all of your legislators’ names, along with small photos of them. Just click on their photo, and that will take you to a page with all their contact information, a short bio, and what committees they are on.  

 In addition to the regular registration fee, the specialized plates will cost an extra $35 initially, and $25 at renewal. If your plates are not immediately due for renewal any remaining registration time will be credited to the new plate. Customized numbers and letters, such as an aircraft's N number will cost another $25 initially, and $15 at renewal. Only five characters are available on the plates, so you may not be able to have the "N" on it. Sample plates, suitable for hanging on your wall (but not on your vehicle) are available for $30. Sales of these plates do not apply to the 1000 plates needed to keep the program going.

Roughly one-half of the license plate sales proceeds will go to the Idaho Aviation Foundation. The rest will stay with the Idaho Transportation Department for administration purposes. The plates are available at the usual county vehicle registration offices and online at  If it's not time to renew your registration and you haven't received a reminder card in the mail click on "Registration Status Checker" on the right side and follow the instructions.

Wilderness Within Reach

IAF Project 2019 Wilderness Within Reach, a program IAF funds to enable handicapped/disabled to fly and experience the backcountry

Although many have the ability to fly into the Idaho backcountry to enjoy the wilderness, there is a segment of the population who cannot physically or economically access these remote areas. There are those who are physically unable to hike, ride a horse, or float a river, due to age, conditioning or disability. Over 25 years ago several Idaho pilots and air taxi operators, in cooperation with Boise Parks and Recreation Department, decided to start Wilderness Within Reach, a program that provides air transportation to the Idaho backcountry at selected airstrips for such individuals. Today this program is sponsored by the IAF, air taxi operators and volunteers along with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department to conduct the annual event.
History of the Wilderness Within Reach Program

Backcountry WebCams/Weather Stations

IAF Project View looking east from web cam at Sulphur Creek Ranch

The IAF has undertaken the development of tower mounted webcams and weather reporting stations intended for pilots to view actual backcountry weather conditions at selected locations in southwestern and central Idaho. Many locations are now in operation and can be viewed by accessing the Webcams page of this website.  In July of 2014 two webcams were installed at Big Creek, along with a weather station. The cameras show weather to the north and south. In 2019 new webcams were installed at Sulphur Creek and give pilots a good view east and south from the lodge.  Plans for 2020 include installation of four cameras on Meadow Creek Summit, giving a 360 degree view of the area, and a weather station.  It’s located west of Indian Creek and east of Johnson Creek at approximately 8400 feet.

Idaho Airstrip Network

IAF Project

The IAN consists of owners and users of Idaho's backcountry airstrips. The primary purpose is to establish standards and coordinate projects for all public use backcountry airstrips in Idaho. Both the IAF and the Idaho Aviation Association hold key positions on the IAN steering committee. The IAF has become one of the major supporters of the IAN and has been designated as the entity that receives and distributes grants and donations for IAN projects. For more information see the Idaho Airstrips page on the Idaho Aviation Association website.

Big Creek Hydroelectric Project

On February 28, 2020 the Idaho Aviation Foundation (IAF) filed a Final License Application  for the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC No. 10721).  Previously on November 18, 2019 a Draft License Application had been filed, and on February 28, 2017, the IAF had filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a Pre-Application Document (PAD) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which was required to initiate the re-license process to allow continued Project operation when the current license, which was issued on March 26, 1992, expires on February 28, 2022. The Project supplies clean, renewable hydro power to Big Creek Lodge located 24 miles Northeast of Yellow Pine, ID.
Map and Directions from McCall to Big Creek can be found HERE.  
Map and Directions from Cascade to Big Creek can be found HERE.
FERC Cover Letter
FERC Certificate of Service
FERC PAD Amended
FERC Proof of Publication 03.31.17
FERC Notice of Joint Agency/Public Meeting
FERC Certificate of Service
FERC Proof of Publication 05.23.17
FERC Notice of Site Visit
FERC Public Mtg Pwr Pt 06.07.17
2019 FERC Draft License Application
2019 FERC Certificate of Service 11.18.19
2020 FERC Final License Application
2020 Certificate of Service
2020 FERC Updated Legal Descripton
2020 FERC Updated TE & S Species Table
2020 FERC Final License Application Revised

STEM Program Grants

The IAF has given grants to local high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs conducted by Rich Stowell, a 20-year Master Instructor.

Here's a five-minute video memorializing the six-hour ACE Academy Living Lab held at Boise State University on June 14, 2017. The lab brought teens and teachers together to learn about aviation using STEM. Using rubber band powered balsa wood airplanes, participants worked on NASA's Glide Trajectory Problem as well as calculated the speed of their planes flying around pylons.

Past Projects

IAF Rebuilds Big Creek Lodge

IAF Project

On February 1, 2013 the Idaho Aviation Foundation announced it's plan to rebuild Idaho's historic Big Creek Lodge For over 74 years the lodge provided meals and lodging to miners, geologists, loggers, sportsmen, horsemen, hikers, ATV/Snowmobilers, and pilots. Big Creek is special from an historic standpoint, but the mountain views, wildlife, and a rustic lodge on a beautiful state maintained airstrip made the Big Creek experience memorable. Sadly, it came to an end one late October morning in 2008, when a fire burned the lodge and adjacent cabin to the ground. Now, the Idaho Aviation Foundation is well on the road to rebuilding the lodge in the next few years. This project is being undertaken to promote Idaho aviation's image with the general public and enable users of all kinds to enjoy this remote location to its' potential once again. The project will be the IAF's premier enhancement to Idaho's backcountry aviation facilities in the coming years, but we need help. If the Lodge has a special place in your heart - or if you would like to enjoy another place for meals and lodging in the backcountry - then we hope you will choose to get involved via donation and/or volunteerism. There are so many details and activities; you may wish to visit our dedicated website for this project:

Fly Idaho! Book Set

IAF Project Fly Idaho! by Galen Hanselman

The IAF has funded research necessary for the publication of the Third Edition of Fly Idaho!, a nearly 1,000-page, comprehensive two-volume book that provides critical safety and recreational information about Idaho's backcountry airstrips. This book was published in 2015.

Garden Valley Airstrip Shower Facilities

IAF Project

The Garden Valley airstrip is a popular mountain area turf airstrip on the eastern end of Garden Valley located adjacent to the South Fork of the Payette River. It is located approximately 30 miles north of Boise in a very scenic valley. The airstrip is more easily accessible to backcountry pilots than Johnson Creek and Smiley Creek and has had camping, picnic and toilet facilities available on the airstrip, but no showers until recently. To remedy the shower situation the IAF worked with the state Division of Aeronautics, the Idaho Aviation Association and many volunteers in order to construct facilities at the Garden Valley Airstrip. The shower and restroom facilities were completed for use in July of 2011, and rival other Idaho airports which attract pilots from all over Idaho as well as the rest of the United States and Canada. The Treasure Valley Chapter of the Idaho Aviation Association annually hosts a Father's Day Fly-In Breakfast which is always well attended.

Reed Ranch Airstrip

The U.S. Forest Service (FS) acquired the Reed Ranch as part of a land exchange in 2006. Prior to FS acquisition the airstrip was privately owned; however, the owner allowed the public to use the airstrip with permission. When the FS acquired the airstrip, an initiative was launched by the state Division of Aeronautics to acquire a Special Use Permit. The FS granted the permit in 2010 and the airstrip was officially opened to the public again in the summer of 2010. The reopening of Reed Ranch airstrip is yet another example of cooperative efforts yielding positive results when public agencies and private interests unite for a common purpose. The IAF will continue efforts to assist the state Division of Aeronautics with improvements at the site to enhance the user experience.

Firepans at Moose Creek Airstrip

IAF Project

In 2012 the IAF funded and contracted with the Forest Service to install new fire pans at the Moose Creek Airstrip (1U1) camping area.

Back to Top