Idaho is the only Western U.S. state without a national park, and that's not accidental. Proposals introduced by regular citizens and politicians alike have been shut down for a variety of reasons, including because the idea was very unpopular with ranchers in central Idaho. In the 1960s U.S. Sen. Frank Church was ready to be the new champion of the movement, though he quickly realized it might not be the best path forward.
Advocates say one of the biggest threats to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is outside its boundaries
The Sawtooth Valley is prime habitat for Chinook and sockeye salmon; it's where the headwaters form to the Salmon River.
The SNRA was created in 1972, in part to halt development springing up on the Sawtooth Valley floor. There was hardly any local zoning at the time. Subdivisions were growing and more were planned.
We take you on a trip to a wilderness paradise to look at the past, present and future of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.