Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres of public lands in the United States which constitutes one eighth of the landmass of the country. President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service; the agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate located beneath federal and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862. Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming; the mission of the BLM is "to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations." BLM holdings were described as "land nobody wanted" because homesteaders had passed them by. All the same, ranchers hold nearly 18,000 permits and leases for livestock grazing on 155 million acres of BLM public lands.
The agency manages 221 wilderness areas, 27 national monuments and some 636 other protected areas as part of the National Conservation Lands, totaling about 36 million acres. In addition the National Conservation Lands include nearly 2,400 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, nearly 6,000 miles of National Scenic and Historic Trails. There are more than 63,000 gas wells on BLM public lands. Total energy leases generated $5.4 billion in 2013, an amount divided among the Treasury, the states, Native American groups. The BLM's roots go back to the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; these laws provided for the survey and settlement of the lands that the original 13 colonies ceded to the federal government after the American Revolution. As additional lands were acquired by the United States from Spain and other countries, the United States Congress directed that they be explored and made available for settlement. During the Revolutionary War, military bounty land was promised to soldiers who fought for the colonies.
After the war, the Treaty of Paris of 1783, signed by the United States, England and Spain, ceded territory to the United States. In the 1780s, other states relinquished their own claims to land in modern-day Ohio. By this time, the United States needed revenue to function. Land was sold. In order to sell the land, surveys needed to be conducted; the Land Ordinance of 1785 instructed a geographer to oversee this work as undertaken by a group of surveyors. The first years of surveying were completed by error. In 1812, Congress established the General Land Office as part of the Department of the Treasury to oversee the disposition of these federal lands. By the early 1800s, promised bounty land claims were fulfilled. Over the years, other bounty land and homestead laws were enacted to dispose of federal land. Several different types of patents existed; these include cash entry, homestead, military warrants, mineral certificates, private land claims, state selections, town sites, town lots. A system of local land offices spread throughout the territories, patenting land, surveyed via the corresponding Office of the Surveyor General of a particular territory.
This pattern spread across the entire United States. The laws that spurred this system with the exception of the General Mining Law of 1872 and the Desert Land Act of 1877 have since been repealed or superseded. In the early 20th century, Congress took additional steps toward recognizing the value of the assets on public lands and directed the Executive Branch to manage activities on the remaining public lands; the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 allowed leasing and production of selected commodities, such as coal, oil and sodium to take place on public lands. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the United States Grazing Service to manage the public rangelands by establishment of advisory boards that set grazing fees; the Oregon and California Revested Lands Sustained Yield Management Act of 1937 referred as the O&C Act, required sustained yield management of the timberlands in western Oregon. In 1946, the Grazing Service was merged with the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior.
It took several years for this new agency to reorganize. In the end, the Bureau of Land Management became less focused on land disposal and more focused on the long term management and preservation of the land; the agency achieved its current form by combining offices in the western states and creating a corresponding office for lands both east of and alongside the Mississippi River. As a matter of course, the BLM's emphasis fell on activities in the western states as most of the mining, land sales, federally owned areas are located west of the Mississippi. BLM personnel on the ground have been oriented toward local interests, while bureau management in Washington are led by presidential guidance. By means of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Congress created a more unified bureau mission and recognized the value of the remaining public lands by declaring that these lands would remain in public ownership; the law directed that these lands be managed with a view toward "multiple use" defined as "management of the public lands and their various resource values so that th
National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed wilderness areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. Activity on formally designated wilderness areas is coordinated by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed by four federal land management agencies: the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management; the term "wilderness" is defined as "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" and "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions." As of 2016, there are 765 designated wilderness areas, totaling 109,129,657 acres, or about 4.5% of the area of the United States. During the 1950s and 1960s, as the American transportation system was on the rise, concern for clean air and water quality began to grow.
A conservation movement began to take place with the intent of establishing designated wilderness areas. Howard Zahniser created the first draft of the Wilderness Act in 1956, it took nine years and 65 rewrites before the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1964, which established the NWPS, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964; the Wilderness Act mandated that the National Park Service, U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service review all federal lands under their jurisdiction for wilderness areas to include in the NWPS; the first national forest wilderness areas were established by the Wilderness Act itself. The Great Swamp in New Jersey became the first National Wildlife Refuge with formally designated wilderness in 1968. Wilderness areas in national parks followed, beginning with the designation of wilderness in part of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho in 1970. A dramatic spike in acreage added to the wilderness system in 1980 was due in large part to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on December 2, 1980.
A smaller spike in 1984 came with the passage of many bills establishing national forest wilderness areas identified by the Forest Service's Roadless Area Review and Evaluation process. The Bureau of Land Management was not required to review its lands for inclusion in the NWPS until after October 21, 1976, when the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 was signed into law. Over 200 wilderness areas have been created within Bureau of Land Management administered lands since consisting of 8.71 million acres in September 2015. As of August 2008, a total of 704 separate wilderness areas, encompassing 107,514,938 acres, had become part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. With the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act in March 2009, there were 756 wilderness areas; as of September 2015, the system includes 765 wilderness areas totaling 109,129,657 acres. On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate an area as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Forest Service, are responsible for the submission of new areas that fit the criteria to become wilderness to congress. Congress reviews these cases on a state by state basis and determines which areas and how much land in each area will become part of the WPS. There have been multiple occasions in which congress designated more federal land than had been recommended by the nominating agency. Whereas the Wilderness Act stipulated that a wilderness area must be "administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such a manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness", the Eastern Wilderness Act, which added 16 National Forest areas to the NWPS, allowed for the inclusion of areas, modified by human interference; the Wilderness Act provides criteria for lands being considered for wilderness designation. Though there are some exceptions, the following conditions must be present for an area to be included in the NWPS: the land is under federal ownership and management, the area consists of at least five thousand acres of land, human influence is "substantially unnoticeable," there are opportunities for solitude and recreation, the area possesses "ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, scenic, or historical value."
Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions. During these activities, patrons are asked to abide by the "Leave No Trace" policy; this policy sets guidelines for using the wilderness responsibly, leaving the area as it was before usage. These guidelines include: Packing all trash out of the wilderness, using a stove as opposed to a fire, camping at least 200 feet from trails or water sources, staying on marked trails, keeping group size small; when observed, the "Leave No Trace" ethos ensures that wilderness areas remain untainted by human interaction. In general, the law prohibits logging, mechanized vehicles, road-building, other forms of development in wilderness areas, though pre-existing mining claims and grazing ranges are permitted through grandf
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a U. S. National Monument and national preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho, it is along US 20, between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States; the Monument was established on May 2, 1924. In November 2000, a presidential proclamation by President Clinton expanded the Monument area; the National Park Service portions of the expanded Monument were designated as Craters of the Moon National Preserve in August 2002. It lies in parts of Blaine, Lincoln and Power counties; the area is managed cooperatively by the Bureau of Land Management. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles; the Monument alone covers 53,571 acres. All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet.
There are excellent examples of every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds, lava tubes, many other volcanic features. Craters of the Moon is in south-central Idaho, midway between Yellowstone National Park; the lava field reaches southeastward from the Pioneer Mountains. Combined U. S. Highway provides access to it. However, the rugged landscape of the monument itself remains remote and undeveloped, with only one paved road across the northern end; the Craters of the Moon Lava Field spreads across 618 square miles and is the largest Holocene-aged basaltic lava field in the contiguous United States. The Monument and Preserve contain more than 25 volcanic cones, including outstanding examples of spatter cones; the 60 distinct solidified lava flows that form the Craters of the Moon Lava Field range in age from 15,000 to just 2,000 years. The Kings Bowl and Wapi lava fields, both about 2,200 years old, are part of the National Preserve; this lava field is the largest of several large beds of lava that erupted from the 53-mile south-east to north-west trending Great Rift volcanic zone, a line of weakness in the Earth's crust.
Together with fields from other fissures they make up the Lava Beds of Idaho, which in turn are in the much larger Snake River Plain volcanic province. The Great Rift extends across the entire Snake River Plain. Elevation at the visitor center is 5,900 feet above sea level. Total average precipitation in the Craters of the Moon area is between 15–20 inches per year. Most of this is lost in cracks in the basalt, only to emerge in springs and seeps in the walls of the Snake River Canyon. Older lava fields on the plain have been invaded by drought-resistant plants such as sagebrush, while younger fields, such as Craters of the Moon, only have a seasonal and sparse cover of vegetation. From a distance this cover disappears entirely, giving an impression of utter black desolation. Repeated lava flows over the last 15,000 years have raised the land surface enough to expose it to the prevailing southwesterly winds, which help to keep the area dry. Together these conditions make life on the lava field difficult.
Paleo-Indians visited the area about 12,000 years ago but did not leave much archaeological evidence. Northern Shoshone created trails through the Craters of the Moon Lava Field during their summer migrations from the Snake River to the camas prairie, west of the lava field. Stone windbreaks at Indian Tunnel were used to protect campsites from the dry summer wind. No evidence exists for permanent habitation by any Native American group. A hunting and gathering culture, the Northern Shoshone pursued elk, American bison and bighorn sheep — all large game who no longer range the area; the most recent volcanic eruptions ended about 2,100 years ago and were witnessed by the Shoshone people. Shoshone legend speaks of a serpent on a mountain who, angered by lightning, coiled around and squeezed the mountain until liquid rock flowed, fire shot from cracks, the mountain exploded. Pioneers traveling in wagon trains on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s and 1860s followed an alternative route in the area that used old Indian trails that skirted the lava flows.
This alternative route was named Goodale's Cutoff and part of it is in the northern part of the monument. The cutoff was created to reduce the possibility of ambush by Shoshone warriors along the Snake River such as the one that occurred at Massacre Rocks, which today is memorialized in Idaho's Massacre Rocks State Park. After gold was discovered in the Salmon River area of Idaho, a group of immigrants persuaded an Illinois-born trapper and trader named Tim Goodale to lead them through the cutoff. A large wagon train met up with more wagons at Craters of the Moon Lava Field. Numbering 795 men and 300 women and children, the unusually large group was unmolested during its journey and named the cutoff for their guide. Improvements to the cutoff such as adding a ferry to cross the Snake River made it into a popular alternative route of the Oregon Trail. In 1879, two Arco cattlemen named Arthur Ferris and J. W. Powell became the first known people to explore the lava fields, they were investigating its possible use for grazing and watering cattle but found the area to be unsuitable and left.
U. S. Army Captain and western explorer B. L. E. Bonneville visited
Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness
The Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness Area is a protected wilderness area in Idaho. It was created in 1980 by the United States Congress and renamed in 1984 as the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in honor of U. S. Senator Frank Church. At 2.367 million acres, it is the largest contiguous federally managed wilderness in the United States outside of Alaska, second in area only to the contiguous area of the state-managed Adirondack Park in upstate New York, which contains some 46% of its state-managed area of 9,375 square miles as wilderness parkland. The Death Valley Wilderness is the largest single designated area but consists of numerous disconnected units; the wilderness protects several mountain ranges, extensive wildlife, a popular whitewater rafting river: the Salmon River. Together with the adjacent Gospel Hump Wilderness and surrounding unprotected roadless Forest Service land, it is the core of a 3.3 million acre roadless area. It is separated to the north, by a single dirt road.
The wilderness contains parts of several mountain ranges, including the Salmon River Mountains, the Clearwater Mountains, the Bighorn Crags. The ranges are split by steep canyons of the Main forks of the Salmon River; the Salmon River is a popular destination for whitewater rafting, is colloquially known as the "River of No Return" for its swift current which makes upstream travel difficult. Most of the area is covered by coniferous forests, with dry, open land along the rivers at lower elevations. While designation as a wilderness area in the United States requires the prohibition of any motorized machinery, the use of jetboats and several airstrips are permitted in this wilderness as grandfathered existing uses before the wilderness was designated; the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness is located in six different national forests plus a tiny portion of land of the Bureau of Land Management, more components than any other wilderness. In descending order of acreage they are: Payette National Forest Challis National Forest Salmon National Forest Boise National Forest Bitterroot National Forest Nez Perce National Forest Bureau of Land Management In 1931, 1,090,000 acres in Central Idaho were declared by the U.
S. Forest Service as The Idaho Primitive Area. In 1963, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness was split into three parts: The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Salmon River Breaks Primitive area, the Magruder Corridor—the land between the two areas. Frank Church was the Senate floor sponsor for the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected 9 million acres of United States land as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 1968, he introduced the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which included the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, so that rivers "shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations." Church's environmental legislation culminated in 1980 with the passage of the Central Idaho Wilderness Act. The act created the River of No Return Wilderness by combining the Idaho Primitive Area, the Salmon River Breaks Primitive Area, a portion of the Magruder Corridor; the Act added 125 miles of the Salmon River to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
President Carter had taken his family on a three-day float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in August 1978, accompanied by Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus, the former Idaho governor. The administration forwarded a central Idaho wilderness proposal to Congress that year and Carter signed the final act on July 23, 1980. In January 1984, Congress honored Senator Church, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, by renaming the area The Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness. Idaho Senator Jim McClure introduced the measure in the Senate in late February, President Reagan signed the act on March 14, less than four weeks before Church's death on April 7 at age 59. On August 7, 2013, a retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the rugged back country encountered Hannah Anderson and her abductor, James DiMaggio. FBI agents rescued Anderson and killed DiMaggio near Morehead Lake on August 10; because of its size the wilderness area provides a secluded habitat for a wide variety of mammal species, including some rare, vulnerable species.
The wilderness is inhabited by a large population of grey wolves. Populations of black bears, as well as: lynx and red fox are scattered throughout the area. Other observable ruminant wildlife within the wilderness include: bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, mule deer, white tail deer. While this area has been deemed as one of the few remaining areas in the contiguous states with suitable habitat for grizzly bears, no established populations are known to exist; the wilderness offers some of the most critical habitat for wolverines in the lower 48 states. Beavers that were parachuted into the area from Idaho have established a healthy colony here. Frank Church List of U. S. Wilderness Areas Wilderness Act United States Postal Service U. S. Forest Service page on the Frank Church-RNR Area User's Guide – December 2001 revision Wilderness.net wilderness information TopoQuest map of the wilderness Wolverines: Ghosts In Our Woods from Sun Valley Guide Idaho Public Television – The Frank Church Wilderness The Frank Church Wilderness – video – Documentary produced by Idaho Public Television
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres. Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System and Private Forestry, Business Operations, the Research and Development branch. Managing 25% of federal lands, it is the only major national land agency, outside the U. S. Department of the Interior; the concept of the National Forests was born from Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation group and Crockett Club, due to concerns regarding Yellowstone National Park beginning as early as 1875. In 1876, Congress formed the office of Special Agent in the Department of Agriculture to assess the quality and conditions of forests in the United States. Franklin B. Hough was appointed the head of the office. In 1881, the office was expanded into the newly formed Division of Forestry; the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized withdrawing land from the public domain as "forest reserves," managed by the Department of the Interior.
In 1901, the Division of Forestry was renamed the Bureau of Forestry. The Transfer Act of 1905 transferred the management of forest reserves from the General Land Office of the Interior Department to the Bureau of Forestry, henceforth known as the United States Forest Service. Gifford Pinchot was the first United States Chief Forester in the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Significant federal legislation affecting the Forest Service includes the Weeks Act of 1911, the Multiple Use – Sustained Yield Act of 1960, P. L. 86-517. L. 88-577. L. 94-588. L. 91-190. L. 95-313. L. 95-307. In February 2009, the Government Accountability Office evaluated whether the Forest Service should be moved from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, managing some 438,000,000 acres of public land; as of 2009, the Forest Service has a total budget authority of $5.5 billion, of which 42% is spent fighting fires.
The Forest Service employs 34,250 employees in 750 locations, including 10,050 firefighters, 737 law enforcement personnel, 500 scientists. The mission of the Forest Service is "To sustain the health and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations." Its motto is "Caring for the land and serving people." As the lead federal agency in natural resource conservation, the US Forest Service provides leadership in the protection and use of the nation's forest and aquatic ecosystems. The agency's ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current and future needs. Through implementation of land and resource management plans, the agency ensures sustainable ecosystems by restoring and maintaining species diversity and ecological productivity that helps provide recreation, timber, fish, wildlife and aesthetic values for current and future generations of people.
The everyday work of the Forest Service balances resource extraction, resource protection, providing recreation. The work includes managing 193,000,000 acres of national forest and grasslands, including 59,000,000 acres of roadless areas. Further, the Forest Service fought fires on 2,996,000 acres of land in 2007; the Forest Service organization includes ranger districts, national forests, research stations and research work units and the Northeastern Area Office for State and Private Forestry. Each level has responsibility for a variety of functions; the Chief of the Forest Service is a career federal employee. The Chief reports to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, an appointee of the President confirmed by the Senate; the Chief's staff provides broad policy and direction for the agency, works with the Administration to develop a budget to submit to Congress, provides information to Congress on accomplishments, monitors activities of the agency.
There are five deputy chiefs for the following areas: National Forest System and Private Forestry and Development, Business Operations, Finance. The Forest Service Research and Development deputy area includes five research stations, the Forest Products Laboratory, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, in Puerto Rico. Station directors, like regional foresters, report to the Chief. Research stations include Northern, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Southern. There are 92 research work units located at 67 sites throughout the United States. There are 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges that have been established progressively since 1908; the system provides places for long-term science and management studies in major vegetation types of the 195 million acres of public land administered by the Forest Service. Individual sites range from 47 to 22,500 ha in size. Operations of Experimental Forests and Ranges are directed by local research teams for the individual sites, by Research Stations for the regions in which they are located, at the level of the Forest Service.
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Salmon River (Idaho)
The Salmon River is located in Idaho in the northwestern United States. The Salmon is known as "The River of No Return", it flows for 425 miles through central Idaho, draining a rugged, thinly populated watershed of 14,000 square miles and dropping more than 7,000 feet between its headwaters, near Galena Summit above the Sawtooth Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, its confluence with the Snake River. Measured at White Bird, its average discharge is 11,060 cubic feet per second, it is one of the largest rivers in the continental United States without a single dam on its mainstem. Cities located along the Salmon River include Stanley, Challis, Salmon and White Bird. Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, which flow into the river via Redfish Lake Creek, are the terminus of the longest Pacific sockeye salmon migration in North America; the lower half of the river provides the time zone boundary for the state, with northern Idaho on Pacific time and the rest of the state on Mountain time.
The Salmon River flows through the mountains of central and eastern Idaho. The main stem rises in the Sawtooth Range at over 9,200 feet in elevation, several miles northwest of Norton Peak. For the first 30 miles, it flows north through the Sawtooth Valley turns east at Stanley, receiving the Yankee Fork shortly below that point and the East Fork further downstream; the river flows northeast, receiving the Pahsimeroi River at Ellis and the Lemhi River at Salmon, Idaho east of the Lemhi Range. North of Salmon, the river is joined by the North Fork, before turning west into over 200 miles of continuous canyons through the Salmon River and Clearwater Mountains – some of the most rugged and isolated terrain in the contiguous United States. Exhibiting upwards of 7,000 feet of vertical relief, the Salmon River canyons are some of the deepest in the U. S. surpassing the Grand Canyon and second only to the Snake River's Hells Canyon on the Idaho–Oregon border. Here, the river is joined by the Middle Fork and South Fork.
Ten miles downstream of its confluence with the Middle Fork, the Salmon River becomes the dividing line for the two time zones in Idaho: Mountain time to the south, Pacific time to the north, bisecting the state at 45½ degrees north latitude. The river turns abruptly north at the confluence with the Little Salmon River at Riggins, about 87 miles above its mouth. From there the river flows due north, with U. S. Route 95 on its east bank until a few miles before White Bird; the Salmon River is the longest river system contained within a single U. S. state. The Salmon River area has been home to people for at least the last 8,000 years. Much of the area was inhabited including the Nez Perce; the river was considered sacred ground and a rich source of food for the indigenous people of the area, who relied on the abundant salmon species and other wildlife. In August 1805, just after crossing the Continental Divide of the Americas and Clark ventured down the Salmon River, but found it to be too rough to be navigable.
Clark wrote:... I shall in justice to Capt. Lewis, the first white man on this fork of the Columbia Call this Louis's river.... The Westerly fork of the Columbia River is double the size of the Easterley fork & below those forks the river is... 100 yards wide, it is rapid & Sholey water Clear but little timber. The honor didn't last long. Clark had thought that the Salmon River was the Snake River, thus he called it the "Westerly fork of the Columbia"; the Snake River retained the variant name. In the 1860s, placer deposits of gold were found along the river, a gold rush began. Miners came to the area. Many historic and present day mines can be seen while traveling along the river. Several national forests and Sawtooth National Recreation Area provide for numerous recreation opportunities within the river's watershed. Two segments are protected as Scenic Rivers; the Middle Fork was one of the original eight rivers designated Wild and Scenic in 1968, is considered the "crown jewel" of the Wild and Scenic system.
The Salmon is a popular destination for whitewater kayaking and rafting. The canyons of the Salmon allow for magnificent views of the complex geology of the region; the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area includes one of the deepest canyons in the continental United States, which at 7,000 feet of vertical relief, is deeper than the Grand Canyon. Both the Middle Fork and Main Fork travel through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area; the Middle Fork is about 110 miles long. The Middle Fork raft trip run ends 7 miles prior to the beginning of the Main Fork run; the South Fork of the Salmon flows through Payette National Forest and enters the Wild and Scenic Main Fork at Mackay Bar. The Main Fork raft trip ends ab