Best New Wilderness

Owyhee Canyonlands

Editors' Picks

After decades of fighting and lawsuits and eight years of planning and negotiations, the Owyhee Canyonlands in far southern Idaho became the first official wilderness area in the state in almost 30 years. It was a victory for conservationists, recreationists and ranchers alike, thanks to an unusual partnership that brought all interested parties to the table. While no one got everything they wanted, everyone got something, and in the process 500,000 acres of wilderness, as well as more than 300 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers, were permanently protected while preserving grazing rights and recreational access. And beyond protecting a strikingly beautiful and unique place, we have to say we're impressed by the cooperation that brought the effort to fruition. Just imagine: putting your biases aside and compromising to actually get something done. What a very grown-up way of solving a problem.

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