Work with view featured on ĎOutdoor Idahoí
By PETER BOLTZ
Express Staff Writer
Two Wood River Valley businesswomen are featured on Idaho
Public Televisionís Outdoor Idaho this month.
Poo Wright-Pulliam of Tour du Jour and Susanne Connor of
Sun Valley Soaring are two of six people on the 30-minute show scheduled
to air May 17 at 7 p.m. on Channel 10. The show will be repeated May 20 at
The focus of this episode of Outdoor Idaho is on
people who "work where a view is part of the job" and, thus, the
episodeís name, "A Job with a View."
Now in its fifth season, Wright-Pulliamís Tour du Jour
specializes in guided trips to view the regionís birds and wildflowers.
She said she is the only licensed bird watching guide in
Idaho. Her license from the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board is
required because she guides people on public lands.
Although Wright-Pulliam takes most of her tour groups to
Idaho Fish and Gameís Centennial Marsh and Carey Lake wildlife
management areas and The Nature Conservancyís Silver Creek Preserve, she
also explores the Picabo Desert, south of Timmerman Hill and east of
"There is so much to the south that people donít
know about," she said. "Not that far off the highway beyond the
sagebrush are all these marshes no one knows about. And in them are all
kinds of birds."
As a tour guide, she is self-taught in her knowledge of
the regionís flora and fauna. Her focus, however, is on bird life. She
credits her enthusiasm for bird watching to Patty Provonsha.
Wright-Pulliam said that years ago she used to call
Provonsha any time she had a bird she wanted to identify.
One day Provonsha gave her a book on birds and challenged
Wright-Pulliam to learn to identify 100 different species.
She did it in three and a half months, after which
Provonsha threw her a party.
As for her guide business, she gives her husband Dan
credit for coming up with the idea of starting it up.
Wright-Pulliam said that often when the two of them were
driving, "I was always screaming, ĎStop, I want to see something.í
" So her husband suggested putting this energy into a business.
With Tour du Jour, Wright-Pulliam can now show groups of
people the many birding hot spots and wildflower sites she has discovered.
The business allows her "to pass on the passion that drives me,"
Wright-Pulliam also is a wildlife artist and recently
placed in the top 40 in a Wyoming conservation stamp contest.
Connorís Sun Valley Soaring business will be 20 years
old this July. Connor herself has been soaring since 1978.
"I learned to fly gliders when I first moved
here," she said. "And I started the business because I wanted my
son close to me while he was growing up.
"He started riding in the tow plane at 2Ĺ. By age 8,
he was burned out on flying after putting in thousands of hours of flight
time in the tow plane."
Besides taking people up for glider rides, Connor also
works as a fly fishing guide for Lost River Outfitters. In winter she
coaches the development squad (7- to 12-year-olds) in the Sun Valley Ski
Asked what she is going to do with all her fame from the
show, she quickly responded, "Glory is short-lived."
In addition to Wright-Pulliam and Connor, the show will
have segments on a river ranger, a condor biologist and two shepherds.
Barry Miller is the Selway River ranger who patrols the
river through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. He has done it for 18 of
the past 20 years. "Iíve pretty much built my life around this
particular river," he said.
Randy Townsend is a condor biologist who works at the
Peregrine Fundís Center for Birds of Prey, west of Boise. The group
hopes to re-establish the condor in the wild, something that would put
Townsend out of work.
"Basically," he said, "itís one of those
jobs where if youíre successful, youíre fired."
Ramiro Ayllon and Francisco de la Cruz are Peruvian
shepherds, who herd sheep in the mountains between McCall and the Snake
River Birds of Prey Area.
"Since I was a child, my parents have raised
livestock, so I was raised in this, and I always liked it," Ayllon