Idaho Rivers United Hike
Bill Sedivy, of Idaho Rivers United, was one of the early members of the Owyhee Initiative group and he's still on the board. While he's spent countless hours around the bargaining table he loves getting out into the canyonlands. A hike into the new Owyhee River wilderness reminds him why he's invested years of effort to protect this remote landscape.
The east fork of the Owyhee is a recreational gem. This is a really special place to me. I love coming down here. And I think the thing I like most about it is you get down off the canyon rim, get down in these canyons and the sense of solitude is just this side of overwhelming. It's wonderful.
The Wild and Scenic River designations that came out of the Owyhee bill and out of eight years of collaborative work are just really important for protecting the ecological integrity of this whole landscape. …Down here in the Owyhee country rivers really do mean life. At least seventy percent of all the plants and animal species that inhabit this ecosystem are tied in some way directly to the river corridor so protecting them is really important. I think these rivers down here in the Owyhee-Bruneau canyonlands were among the most special, most remarkable unprotected rivers left in the United States prior to designation. And I don't think there is any question that they add truly unique substance to the National Wild and Scenic River system. It is the largest concentration of rhyolite basalt canyons in the United States and you just don't get that anywhere else. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done working to protect these rivers and I think that's because I care so much about it…To be able to come together and do it collaboratively like we did with the Owyhee Initiative and realize that your children and your grandchildren are going to be able to enjoy this spot where I'm standing today a hundred years from now. That's a pretty powerful feeling.