35th Anniversary Special
You can cover a lot of territory in 35 years and still just barely scratch the surface. We know because we've been doing that—exploring the beauty, the drama, the science of nature for 35 years. This special revisits some of the scenic wonders we've uncovered along the way. We also take viewers behind the scenes and remember the folks who have shared their stories with us over the years.
We've changed a lot in three and a half decades. Of course, who hasn't? Hey, welcome to our 35th Anniversary Special.
February 20, 2018
You can cover a lot of territory in 35 years and still just barely scratch the surface. I'm reminded of something the writer Ernest Hemingway once said: "A helluva lot of state, this Idaho, that I didn't know about."
And with more than 60% of it public land, there's a good chance none of us will ever visit all of the state's impressive landscapes. It's just that vast.t
If Outdoor Idaho ever does fold up its tent, it certainly won't be because we've run out of story ideas or places to visit. Just the public policy challenges alone - wolves, wilderness, weeds, water, timber wars, wild fires - could keep us busy for a couple years.
In our hour-long "35th Anniversary Special," we focus on some of those issues.
We also take you behind the scenes, as every Anniversary show must do. My colleague Sauni Symonds has been working on that segment. In many ways, it will be the heart of our program, giving my colleagues behind the camera a chance to shine.
They also get to recap some of their favorite interviews out of the 300 or so shows we've chronicled over the years.
Last month we asked our viewers on social media to comment on what the show has meant to them, and they responded. Talk about a fascinating and humbling experience! We made that a part of our show also.
I'm often asked why Outdoor Idaho has survived and thrived for so long. I think there are several factors, including strong support from our general managers over the years and a willingness from our development folks to search out grants and underwriting.
Couple that with a close-knit group of people who still enjoy working together; a commitment to only tackle shows that someone on staff really cares about; and an attempt to populate each program with real Idahoans, who can help shine a light on their part of the state. "We tell Idaho's stories" is actually in our Mission Statement; we take it seriously, but we get a lot of help from the ones we interview.
And then there's the state itself. Geologically, Idaho is so impressive! The influence that her mountains and valleys and rivers exert on our staff hopefully shines through every episode. I know our team works hard to capture that natural beauty; and I think viewers appreciate the extra effort, especially when we climb to the top of a 12,000 foot peak, or descend hundreds of feet into a limestone cave, or hike 20 miles into the wilderness, just to get the shot.
The show has always been willing to re-invent itself. Everyone who has worked on Outdoor Idaho has brought something new to the mix, and it has allowed the show to grow and change for 35 years. But it has always remained essentially a labor of love.
There aren't too many things that can unite a complicated state like Idaho. (The joke is that we have three capitals: Boise, Spokane, and Salt Lake City.)
Maybe that's what Outdoor Idaho has been doing best of all these past 35 years… helping to connect our geographically challenged state. At least, that's what many viewers zeroed in on when we asked them what the show has meant to them.
I guess that's not a bad peg to hang your hat on. Thanks for watching.