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50 Years of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in Idaho

November 9, 2018
11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Crystal Ballroom
Hoff Building
802 W. Bannock
Boise, ID

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Upon signing the Act into law on October 2, 1968, President Johnson said it would “complement our river development with a policy to preserve sections of selected rivers in their free-flowing conditions and to protect their water quality and other vital conservation values.”

Idaho has 891 miles of federally designated wild and scenic river segments, including portions of the Main Salmon, Owyhee, Jarbidge, Bruneau, Rapid, and Snake rivers. The original eight rivers designated by the 1968 Act included two in Idaho—the Middle Fork of the Clearwater (including the Lochsa and Selway rivers) and Middle Fork of the Salmon. Idaho Senator Frank Church sponsored the legislation in Congress, and Idaho’s designated rivers have been central to the origins, history, and current management issues for the overall National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

To explore the history of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in Idaho, our speaker is Sara Dant, Professor and Chair of History at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Prof. Dant’s work focuses on U.S. environmental politics and emphasizes the creation and development of consensus and bi-partisanism. Prof. Dant has researched the genesis of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Sen. Church’s role in that effort, and the roots of the Act in the Hells Canyon dam building controversy of the 1950s. Her latest book is Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West (Wiley, 2017).

Prof. Dant’s appearance at IEF is made possible with the travel support of the Idaho State Bar, Environment & Natural Resources Section.

Forum Chair: Marie Kellner

Forum Moderator: Brandy Wilson


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