The Idaho Outdoor Association (IOA) was organized in 1947 by a group of sportsmen and women who believed in good sportsmanship, ethics and responsibility as hunters and fishermen. To support wildlife management, maintain and improve habitat for the betterment of Idaho fish and game. This group was incorporated August 26, 1947. The plan was to headquarter this organization in Boise and to establish Chapters in various Idaho cities statewide.
In 1948 the group obtained an open-end easement from the Idaho State Land Dept. to occupy the present site for a meeting hall and storage building. At that time this site was sagebrush-covered land between Gowen Field and Boise City. They were given and/or purchased for very little, two one story military surplus buildings which were moved to the present site and improved as a meeting and recreational hall with a 20x60ft. foyer, kitchen, restrooms and storage, plus a 40x40ft. meeting hall with a hardwood dance floor. Heat and cooking originally was with wood-fired stoves. A concrete barbeque was well detached from the southeast corner of the building. Volunteer labor and funds from various sources including rental has remodeled and maintained this hall. Outside barbequed beef and pork brought out some sizeable crowds.
In conjunction with this hall the IOA Inc. built and maintained a campground on the Middle Fork of the Boise River at Alexander Flats. The campground was used for club activities and was also enjoyed by the general public. Floodwaters in the late 1960's and early 1970's washed most of it out and the Forest Service recommended it be abandoned.
Membership has seen periods of increase and decrease. All outlying chapters throughout the state did not materialize and/or collapsed except our Ada Chapter. Membership is down but we are a strong group that is alive and thriving.
Our principle income is from hall rental, which as a nonprofit organization covers our operating expenses. Over the past 20 years we have donated over $15,000 to various community causes and to other organizations such as Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Hunter Ed., The Discovery Center, The Depot Project and you will be hard pressed to name a worthy community organization that we haven't helped. For many years this hall was the home of many square and round dance groups. For a building that was of temporary construction during World War II with an anticipated five-year life, it has outlasted that expectancy ten times over in serving this community well.
For many years Wally and Bessie Williams were the best at hall management. They were a wonderful couple and friends to all of us. We lost them both in 1996. Frank and Mary Oneida took over at Bessie's request before she left us. Current hall rental is in the hands of Kathy Rosencrantz. She receives help as needed from all of our members.
We meet regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM, have a short program, social break, business meeting and try to adjourn by 9:00PM. Meetings are suspended from June through September. The Board of Directors meets regularly the last Tuesday of each month the year round. We welcome possible new members to visit for at least two meetings, and then if you're interested in joining we will accept your application, which then goes before our Board for Aye or Nye.