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Looking Back and Moving Forward: 40 Years of Outdoor Idaho

For 40 years, Outdoor Idaho has provided Idahoans with beauty, awe, science, wonder and an education in Idaho’s natural landscape. To commemorate four decades of inspiration we’re 'Looking Back and Moving Forward' to understand where Outdoor Idaho came from and where we’re going. 

This special live, in-studio pledge event includes a nod to our long-time host, Bruce Reichert, and recognition of the program’s excellence by outdoor experts and loyal viewers. We’ll hear from children and teachers on why a show like Outdoor Idaho is paramount in today’s world. 

Outdoor Idaho provides us with a glimpse into the lives of others — farmers, outfitters, hunters, hikers, birders. It’s an education in our land, but also in our people,” says Producer Lauren Melink. “In this program, we not only recognize Outdoor Idaho but also the state and the landscapes that make our work possible.” 

Outdoor Idaho has done something special by creating a visual time capsule of Idaho, every year, for 40 years, and that’s something to celebrate!” says Producer Forrest Burger.

Watch 'Looking Back and Moving Forward,' now streaming on the PBS Video app and online at

A Look Back with Bruce Reichert

Bruce Reichert looks back on his youth spent in Idaho’s wilderness.

I'm reminded of something the writer Ernest Hemingway once said: "A helluva lot of state, this Idaho, that I didn't know about."

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 its 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.

There aren't too many things that can unite a complicated state like Idaho. Maybe that's what Outdoor Idaho has been doing best of all for more than 35 years: helping to connect our geographically diverse state. I guess that's not a bad peg to hang your hat on. Thanks for watching.

Bruce Reichert

Additional Resources

Watch Outdoor Idaho on YouTube
Watch behind-the-scenes extras, see upcoming trailers, enjoy web exclusives and previews, and get a taste of what Outdoor Idaho is all about by watching show segments from already-aired episodes on Outdoor Idaho's YouTube Page.

Watch Outdoor Idaho on IdahoPTV Passport
Get access to extended hour-long specials from Outdoor Idaho only available with IdahoPTV Passport. We produce a limited number of these specials each year, and they’re available for streaming exclusively to our Passport members. Find more information on becoming a Passport member here.

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Outdoor Idaho Through the Years