Off-roading: Clearwater River Basin

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Off-roading: Clearwater River Basin
Take action

Amy Gulick

Off road vehicles scar the Clearwater River Basin

Clearwater River Basin is one of Idaho’s largest and wildest forest landscapes. Wolves, Canada lynx and mountain goats roam ancient cedar forests, while cutthroat and ocean-going steelhead trout thrive in the pristine tributaries of the Clearwater River’s north, south and middle Forks.

If you are seeking backcountry adventure, miles of trails lead to spectacular views of the Bitterroot Mountains. Or—if you dare—raft down the renowned whitewater rapids of the Lochsa and Selway Rivers.

Why this place matters

From diverse wildlife to outdoor adventures, the Clearwater River Basin is a haven for both animals and humans. But this rugged and remote landscape could be forever altered by off road vehicles running rampant across wildlife habitat in this rugged and wild Idaho landscape.

1.2 million acres of Roadless Areas
These include some of the nation’s most pristine forests.
2,200 miles of wild rivers
These rivers are world-renowned for whitewater rafting.
Cutthroat trout fishing
Some of the best fishing in the West.

The threat

The motorized recreation industry constantly lobbies the U.S. Forest Service to open up more wildlands to the whine of motors and tearing of tires. Each year, more powerful and noisier snowmobiles, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles chew their way into the backcountry of the Clearwater River Basin. They disrupt wildlife, scar the steep hillsides, erode stream crossings and shatter the silence of the landscape.

Private timber companies used to log hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and constructed thousands of miles of road across fragile mountainsides. Now we work diligently with timber companies to carry out sustainable logging to defend our cherished wild forests and oppose proposals and legislation that would open more tracks for dirt bikes and snowmobiles.

By working against allowing motorized vehicles and careless timber harvesting in the fraction of U.S. old growth forest that remains, we can help future generations experience the rugged peace of the Clearwater Basin as it was hundreds of years ago.

What we're doing

  1. Protecting wilderness

    We’re advocating for the permanent protection of more than 500,000 acres of wildlands from motorized vehicles.

  2. Advocating for wildlife

    Work with the U.S. Forest Service to better protect sensitive wildlife areas and streams from reckless off-road vehicles.

  3. Engaging with locals

    We’re developing and engage with local partners in Clearwater Basin who wish to defend against irresponsible motor vehicle policies.

What you can do
We need your help to preserve the peace of these Idaho landscapes. Sign up for our WildAlerts!