- Idaho Primitive Area
- What is today the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness was the Idaho
Primitive Area at the time these photographs were made (1963). Then it was
1,232,744 acres, the largest wilderness in the National Forest System and
was to be studied and reclassified under the provisions of the new Wilderness
Act. This was the reason we were there.
- With the strong support of Senator Frank Church, who risked his career, the
River of No Return Wilderness was established by an Act of Congress in 1980.
It included the original Idaho Primitive Area and was expanded to include
additional adjacent wilderness. Subsequently, other additions were made.
In 1984, Senator Church’s name was added shortly before his death. Today the
wilderness encompasses 2,366,757 acres—larger than Rhode Island and
Delaware combined—and is still the largest National Forest
- The “River of No Return” is the lower part of the Middle Fork
of the Salmon River. The name is not intended to be ominous. More later.