Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Idaho To Get More Wilderness!

(Photo from
I have long wanted to visit the stark, parched beauty of the Owyhee Canyonlands in southwestern Idaho, and it now appears I’ll have the chance to visit them without worrying their beauty will be spoiled: A bill to declare 517,000 acres of Owyhee County as wilderness needs only President Barack Obama’s signature to become reality. (You can read more about the story here.)

As a native Idahoan, I love desert landscapes. Even as a boy, I found the volcanoes, lava fields and lava tubes of eastern Idaho’s Lost River Desert to be awesome sights. The Owyhee Canyonlands is a similar landscape, but with more of a happy-side-of-the-Great Basin feel than a volcanic feel, an area that offers green river bottoms that punctuate bare rock cliffs and hills twisted into knife-edged shapes by wind and rain.
The Idaho Statesman says this bill is all but assured passage, and represents seven years' worth of work by Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, plus Rep. Mike Simpson, in coming up with compromises between wilderness enthusiasts, ranchers and local residents. Hats off to you all.

Now I gotta go. Owyhees, I’m coming this summer.

No comments: