Celebrating Wild and Scenic Rivers with Youth along the South Fork of Snake River

Students learn about Idaho's wild and scenic rivers at BLM educational event

Kids stand in awe of a massive moose antler as Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game teach them about wildlife and fish found along the South ForkDespite cold temperatures, a light drizzle, heavy hail, a skiff a snow, and finally, sunshine, over 200 youth were all smiles as they participated in the BLM's Upper Snake Field Office’s celebration of Wild and Scenic Rivers. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act, recreation staff hosted a celebration with interactive booths for the kids. Staff started reaching out to schools early in 2018 to identify the level of interest and it was overwhelming! Eventually the event had to be capped with schools within the immediate geographic area.

Staff vigorously pursued grant opportunities and partnerships to fund bus travel, different activities and materials for the kids to take home. The event was held at the Conant Boat Ramp along the scenic South Fork of the Snake River. The South Fork, with its amazing cottonwood gallery and sublime fisheries, was the perfect backdrop for recognizing the importance of wild and scenic rivers.Local outfitters teach kids how to cast with colored yarn and hula-hoops

Managing 200 kids is no small feat! The BLM coordinated with many partners to host the booths. Shrieks of laughter, possibly combined with fear, could be heard as kids looked closer at aquatic life including crawdads, sculpin, freshwater shrimp and leeches. Local outfitters provided fly casting lessons and the Teton Regional Land Trust educated kids on trumpeter swans. As hands began to freeze, kids grabbed hot chocolate at the local visitor center.

Partners for the event included: Teton Regional Land Trust, The Lodge at Palisades Creek, South Fork Lodge/Natural Retreats, Henry’s Fork Foundation, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality.

A huge thank you to all our participants and partners for a great event!

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