Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness US Forest Service image

Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

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The largest wilderness area in Idaho and one of the biggest in the nation quietly celebrated its 40th birthday last week, writes Lewiston Tribune reporter Eric Barker. The protection of the 2.3-million-acre expanse of wild country in central Idaho — named the River of No Return Wilderness — was finalized with President Jimmy Carter’s signature on July 23, 1980. But its creation was years in the making and would not have happened without the courage of the late Sen. Frank Church, of Idaho, said former Congressman Larry LaRocco.

“We have the biggest wilderness in the Lower 48 states, but behind it there was a person and a champion, and it happened to be Frank Church,” LaRocco said.

You can read the full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Saturday's print edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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