Recreation Safety

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Motorcycle Safety

The State of Idaho requires a motorcycle endorsement for the legal operation of a motorcycle on roadways. To obtain this endorsement you must complete the following:

  • Obtained an Idaho driver’s license
  • Successfully completed a state-approved, motorcycle-rider training course (a recommendation for all riders and a requirement for those younger than 21)
  • Passed the motorcycle written knowledge test and the skills test
  • Paid the applicable fees listed below
    • Motorcycle “M” endorsement: $15 (one-time fee)
    • Motorcycle instruction permit: $15 (valid for 180 days)
    • Motorcycle skills test: $10 (paid to the skills tester)
    • Motorcycle written test: $3 (paid to the county)

Whether you are a rookie or a veteran, you should consider sharpening your skills by way of a rider course. Idaho STAR (Skills Training Advantage for Riders), a program incorporated within the Idaho Department of Education, offers classes designed for those who either want to learn how to ride or to improve upon the skills they already have.

Snowmobile | Nordic Skiing | Snowshoeing

Valley County is ranked 5th in the nation as a destination spot for snowmobiles, skiers, and snowshoers. Idaho and Valley County host more groomed snowmobile trails then any other Western State. The Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the United States Forest Service provides avalanche assessment of the snow conditions in Valley County. Check out the current conditions at the Boise and Payette National Forest Avalanche Center. Also see Safe Riders the snowmobile safty awareness website.

We want all winter recreation users to make sure they have to proper gear with them. Please remember snow safety and to travel in pairs at least. We hope all recreationists wear an Avalanche Transponder

Check out this link for information regarding laws and requirements of Snowmobile operation. Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Avalanche Awareness for Snowmobilers.

Valley County’s Grooming Report and trail maps.

Open Range

Many areas of Valley County are designated as open range. As you enjoy the vast recreational opportunities, be aware!

Open Range Statute: 25-2118. Animals on open range — No duty to keep from highway. No person owning, or controlling the possession of, any domestic animal running on open range, shall have the duty to keep such animal off any highway on such range, and shall not be liable for damage to any vehicle or for injury to any person riding therein, caused by a collision between the vehicle and the animal. “Open range” means all uninclosed lands outside of cities, villages and herd districts, upon which cattle by custom, license, lease, or permit, are grazed or permitted to roam.

Hunter’s Education

Hunter’s education courses prevent accidents and save lives. Since states have begun requiring hunter education, over the last 30 years hunting incidents have drastically decreased, while the number of hunters has increased. Today, hunting is one of the safest outdoor activities you can enjoy.

All states and provinces that have mandatory hunter education requirements will accept Idaho Hunter Education certifications. Likewise, Idaho will accept hunter education certifications that are issued by other states and provinces that meet official IHEA-USA requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”). Hunter’s Education is a requirement to purchase a hunting license in Idaho if you were born after January 1, 1975. Minimum age to take Hunter’s Education is 10.

Online Certification Information

Target Practice

Firearm target practice is a popular activity in Valley County. When selecting a location for target practice, keep these things in mind:

  • You may target practice anywhere you have permission on private land or essentially on all public land (BLM, USFS, USBOR, or Idaho Department of Lands property) – HOWEVER – even though you have rights to use public land, you assume all liability if something goes wrong, such as someone is injured or you start a fire
  • Be aware of shooting restrictions (such as open fire restrictions in the summer, etc.)
  • Do not shoot near hospitals, schools, airports, etc.
  • Shoot safely – ensure you are firing into a safe backstop
Boating | Marine

Valley County is the 4th largest county by volume of boatable acres. From White Water to Slack Water Valley County has it all. Given the unique and pristine waters in Valley County we are a top destination spot in the United States. The Payette River hosts some of the most challenging rapids in the country. Whitewater sports are a very demanding and at times dangerous sport. The Valley County Sheriff’s Office recommends attending the newly created and approved Paddle Safety Course. This course was developed with input from kayakers and canoeists to teach the basic safety skills needed to start learning this wonderfully exciting sport.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office has certified instructors in Boating Safety Classes for both motorized and Non-Motorized vessels. We are also available to teach life jacket safety classes. Please contact the Recreation Safety Division for more information.

Off-Highway Vehicle (ATV | UTV)

In Idaho, all OHV operators are encouraged to complete an OHV safety education course before operating on public lands, roads or trails. All riders in Idaho who are under the age of 16 must be under direct supervision of an adult when operating on non-local jurisdiction roads. Online Course Information.

 Ten Tips for Responsible and Safe Riding:

  1. Don’t ride cross-country – stay on established trails Cross-country travel can increase soil erosion, ignite wildfire, spread noxious weeds and damage wildlife habitat
  2. Always ride in control Ride within your abilities and your machine’s capabilities. Never attempt anything that is beyond your skill level.
  3. Always wear the appropriate safety gear At a minimum, this should include a helmet, shatter resistant eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and boots that cover the ankle.
  4. Only carry passengers if your OHV is specifically designed to do so ATVs and off-road motorcycles are generally designed to carry only one rider. Carrying passengers can alter the balance of the machine, causing a loss of control.
  5. Riders under the age of 16 should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times
  6. Be prepared for an emergency Always carry a tool kit and spare parts, a first aid kit, and survival equipment when you ride.
  7. Respect closed areas and private property The future for OHV access is in your hands.
  8. Avoid wet areas and waterways They are a vital resource for plants and animals.
  9. Don’t cut switchbacks Taking shortcuts damages trails and causes erosion.
  10. Share the trails and make friends with other trail users Stop or slow down and lower the noise and dust levels when approaching equestrians, hikers and others
General Information
Valley County Recreation Director
Larry Laxson
Recreation Planner
Dave Bingaman
Recreation Coordinator
Danny Amen