Thanks so much for attending “My Father’s Idaho” which was sponsored by Friends of the Clearwater, Idaho Rivers United, and Advocates for the West. Approximately 180 people joined us in McCall, Boise, and Ketchum for a 3-day film tour featuring still photos and footage of Idaho’s public lands and iconic rivers set to Rifka Helton’s original music.
Many of the photos you saw in “My Father’s Idaho” depict north-central Idaho’s Clearwater Basin. This ecologically robust region, the size of two Yellowstone National Parks, is filled with 29 roadless areas ranging from 5,000 acres to 260,000 acres, 3 Wilderness areas, over 2,000 river and tributary miles, coastal disjunct species, native wildlife and cultural and historical sites.
Rifka ended her nostalgic but timely performance with this reminder and message, “These photos were all taken on public lands. Keep public lands in public hands.”
A large component of keeping public lands in public hands is following and participating in the federal processes. Cornerstone public land laws including the National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, among other pieces of legislation, allow the public to shape federal proposals. Often this process leads to the reduction or elimination of illegal projects.
Friends of the Clearwater thoroughly analyzes over 50 projects a year on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests alone for ecological soundness. This is the strength of a place-based organization: we know our mission area better than anyone else.
In 2017, the Forest Service and the State of Idaho are relying on the 2014 Farm Bill, and the ill-conceived Idaho Roadless Rule, to usurp the public involvement process and log inventoried roadless areas. These include the Weitas Creek and Pot Mountain Roadless Areas near the North Fork Clearwater River and the Rackliff-Gedney Roadless Area which borders the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
For 28 years, Friends of the Clearwater has kept the wildest country left in the Lower 48 states largely intact from industrialization. We are composed of 3 staff, 900 members, and operate on a small budget to apply precedent-setting pressure.
Let’s keep it wild!
Membership and Development Director