Tag Archive for: Idaho

The Main Salmon River winds its way below the Trust’s newly acquired property in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness Photo credit: Bradford Knipe

More Protection in the Heart of Idaho

Sept. 17, 2021 – Located in the midst of a 3.3 million-acre roadless area, the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness, combined with the adjacent Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states.

The Main Salmon River winds its way below the Trust’s newly acquired property in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness Photo credit: Bradford Knipe

The Main Salmon River winds its way below the Trust’s newly acquired property in the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. Photo credit: Bradford Knipe

Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, grey wolves, lynx, black bears and wolverines call this land home. The Middle Fork and Main Salmon Rivers slice through the designation, providing habitat and spawning grounds for native westslope cutthroat trout, endangered sockeye and chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. The rivers and tributaries of this wilderness area are critically important for the long-term survival of these species.

This week we purchased another property in the heart of the wilderness. The 38-acre Surprise Lode property is directly adjacent our previous Painter Mine property, a parcel the Trust acquired in 2014 and transferred to the Payette National Forest in 2017. The Trust has also completed projects in the Hell’s Canyon, Little Jacks Creek and North Fork Owyhee Wilderness.

Protecting this beautiful land and its varied habitat is what we live for, and we are excited to continue filling in the map in Idaho’s fabled Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. Learn more about our process, and thank you for your generous support of our work.

The Things We Value

Historic cabin in the Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness, Idaho

August 7, 2020 – It was late afternoon when our staff emerged from Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness after spending the day visiting a project site. It was hot and a thunderstorm was developing overhead. On this day our team included Brad Borst, president, and Kelly Conde, lands specialist, The Wilderness Land Trust, and five U.S. Forest Service (USFS) staff from the Payette National Forest.

They drove three hours along dusty backroads earlier in the day followed by a hike in to the property. Their goal was to get a look at the remnants of several historic cabins and examine three mine adits to determine if any of them required cleanup before the property is transferred to the surrounding wilderness. Luckily, the USFS thought the buildings could remain, and the adits represented nothing more than “a whole lot of looking, and not much finding” by long ago miners, according to an agency representative.

Back at the trailhead our team dusted themselves off before settling down to review their field notes. It’s very satisfying to check off one of the numerous steps we must follow to remove another inholding from the wilderness. In fact, Kelly and Brad enjoyed discussing the next steps for this project so much they didn’t notice the long drive back to civilization.

Our enthusiasm shouldn’t surprise anyone who follows the Trust’s work. The values we embrace as an organization — a passion for wild places, a desire to protect it for future generations, a joyful determination to get the job done and respect everyone involved — runs deep within our ranks. It also ensures our success, as evidenced by more than 52,000 acres permanently protected to date.

Thank you for your generous investment in our work. We’ll keep you posted on how this project turns out, and look forward to sharing more updates from the field this summer.


Kelly Conde, Sawtooth Wilderness

The Trust Welcomes a New Team Member


April 3, 2020 – Please help us welcome Kelly Conde to The Wilderness Land Trust family as our new lands specialist. Kelly is an Idaho native who grew up exploring the many wilderness areas in her state. Her family vacations always required a tent and hiking boots as they backpacked the Sawtooth Wilderness, rafted the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and flew into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on a mail plane. Kelly says these experiences helped her understand the necessity of wild places “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” They also led her to a career in conservation that started with the Idaho-based Sawtooth Society followed by the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust where she worked as their conservation manager.

Kelly is based in Pocatello, Idaho, and she will oversee our projects located throughout the Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Thank you for your continued investment in our work, especially during this challenging time. We are grateful for the ability to continue our mission and vision to keep the promise of wilderness alive for you and future generations.


Scotchman Peaks Wilderness vista

Inheriting a Livable Planet

Oct. 11, 2019 — 50,933 acres permanently protected, 481 parcels added into public ownership, and 16 wilderness areas completed. Since our founding in 1992, you, our board of directors and staff have made those numbers possible.

Board members took some time to hike the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness area.

Board members took some time to hike the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness are

We just returned from our fall board meeting in Sandpoint, Idaho where we spent the better part of a weekend reviewing the complex work that goes into buying and transferring private land to public ownership.

Hours of research, letters, phone calls, travel, meetings, a site visit, environmental assessment, negotiation, title work, contract preparation and closing documents are just a hint of the work we do to remove a threat to the wild places you love.

We hope you are as energized as we are to continue this work so that future generations inherit a livable planet with healthy wilderness areas that support a diversity of plant and animal life.

Please help expand our team of dedicated supporters by sharing this email and encouraging your fellow wilderness advocates to sign up for our news updates.