Special Places

Special Areas

Special Areas have been established to protect and manage for public use and enjoyment, special recreation areas with scenic, geological, botanical, zoological, paleontological, archaeological, or with other special characteristics or unique values.

Wilderness 50th Anniversary

Wilderness Videos

Wilderness 50 LogoThe 1964 Congress enacted the Wilderness Act, which established the National Wilderness Preservation System... to secure for the American people of preset and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. In 2014, our nation will celebrate "50 Years of Wilderness". Visit the Wilderness50 website to find out what education events, projects and programs are available in your area.


The Idaho Wilderness Collection commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Wilderness Act with primary source material documenting the political issues surrounding the management of public lands in Idaho. The Wilderness Act of 1964 created a system for the United States government to designate specific wild areas of America as wilderness areas. The Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964. “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”


Photo of Mary Wagner, Sara Baldwin, Bethine Church, and Ruth Monahan

In memory of Bethine Church, wife of former Senator Frank Church, who was an important and enduring figure in Forest Service management in the Intermountain Region. She attended the field hearings in Idaho, some of which were very controversial when a wilderness bill was considered.  The Central Idaho Wilderness Act hearings in 1979 was one of the hearings she attended. She went on to help establish the Sawtooth Society which has become a force in the management of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.  In 2004, Bethine Church received recognition of this with a Forest Service Centennial Award.  Read remarks of former Regional Forester, Jack Troyer at the Intermountain Region Centennial Celebration on November 18, 2004.