275,000 More Acres Safeguarded for Wildlife and Our Outdoor Heritage

On Tuesday, August 4, 2015 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed “The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act” championed by Idaho’s Congressman Mike Simpson and Senator Jim Risch. Already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislation is now on its way to President Obama’s desk for signing into law. The law will permanently protect 275,665 acres of wildlife-rich areas in central Idaho.

Spangle Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness
Spangle Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mark Hayward.
This is a huge deal for three reasons:

  • The region provides some of the most important hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and canoeing/kayaking experiences in the entire inter-mountain west.
  • It’s the first standalone Congressional Wilderness designation since 2009.

I’m proud that the Idaho Wildlife Federation helped lead the charge on the ground for permanent federal protection and that together our teams helped make a final push in Washington, D.C. to get the bill across the finish line.

Collin O'Mara, NWF President and CEO
Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO
There’s still more work to do to protect the East Fork Salmon watershed, which provides essential fisheries habitat for salmon and steelhead, and to restore habitat and remove dams that hinder fish passage. But today we’re celebrating the win!

This is such an important victory for wildlife because the bill’s passage demonstrates that conservation does not need to be a partisan issue, but rather an American value!

Retweet the following tweet to join us in thanking Congressman Simpson and Senator Risch for being friends of wildlife!