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Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River Management 

thumbnail image of 2015 Management Plan - CLICK to open document in PDF

The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (OPLMA) (P.L. 111-11, Title I - Subtitle F) designated 517,000 acres of public lands in Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho as Wilderness and 325 miles of waterways as Wild and Scenic rivers.

The BLM has finalized a Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River Management Plan (WMP) for these areas. 

    Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River Plan 
       and Environmental Assessment (EA)

    Appendices | Study Maps  

    Interpretive/Recreation Maps

hiker in the Bruneau Canyon

The Plan is designed to protect the unique values recognized in the Omnibus Act's designation in the context of the BLM’s multiple-use mission.

Selected Highlights 
Hunting, fishing and trapping (with proper license) are authorized, as long as associated access is non-motorized and non-mechanized.

There will be no restrictions on the number of groups allowed to float each river daily (group-size limit of 15 persons).  

Groups and individuals embarking on float trips must complete a BLM self-issue permit, available at river launch sites or online.

Boaters, including kayakers, must carry and use a water-tight portable toilet, and empty it into an EPA-approved dump station after their trip.

Riverside campfires must be contained in a metal fire pan or on a raised fire blanket, and only dead and down woody material may be used for firewood.  All campers – river or upland – must pack-in/pack-out all food, trash, burned material, etc. 

Camping tents, “pop-up” hunting blinds, and other temporary shelters may be used while the owner remains in the wilderness. Individuals who want to locate a temporary blind in wilderness prior to their hunt must obtain a free permit for that purpose. 

Several existing trails are designated for both pedestrian and equestrian use.

All proposed activities that would involve soil or vegetation disturbance or the use of motorized/mechanized vehicles or equipment must be evaluated to determine whether and to what extent the proposal could be authorized to minimize impacts to wilderness character and wild and scenic river values.

The BLM will issue Special Recreation Permits to the following entities – including commercial enterprises – as long as 1) they provide services deemed necessary for realizing specified purposes of the wilderness areas, 
2) they are wilderness-dependent, and 3) they do not degrade wilderness character:

licensed outfitters and guides 
entities whose mission includes promoting wilderness ethics, Tread Lightly!, Leave No Trace, 
     or environmental education 
entities whose primary purpose is to support individuals with disabilities



 Maps | Wilderness Fact Sheet

A separate travel management plan in being developed for routes in Owyhee County outside of designated Wilderness.

An exchange of lands that would allow the BLM to acquire State land within Wilderness boundaries is under consideration which would allow both the United States (BLM) and the State of Idaho (Department of Lands) to manage and enhance their respective ownerships more efficiently.


Bruneau River, southern Idaho