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A Sawtooth Celebration
For almost a hundred years, various political leaders had pushed to make the Sawtooth Mountains Idaho's first national park.
But it was not to be.
Instead, in 1972 the Sawtooths — along with the White Cloud and the Boulder mountains — became part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, administered not by the National Park Service, but by the U.S. Forest Service.
How this came to be is a story worth the telling. Forty years ago, Idaho was at the forefront of the nation's environmental movement, electing a governor who pledged to save Castle Peak and the White Clouds from the degradation of an open-pit mine.
We celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sawtooth NRA by examining this remarkable period in Idaho's history, as we explore what was gained and what was lost, and what is yet to be considered.