News From LINC

Bruneau Overlook Celebrates Accessible Feature

On June 1st a celebration was held at the Bruneau Overlook. State Director for the Idaho Office of The Wilderness Society (TWS) Craig Gehrke collaborated with a number of groups to include accessible features in the upgraded site. Accessible features include a new safety fence, level parking lot and new paved surface, accessible vault toilet, and hardened path to the canyon rim that leads to a circular observation deck. The view is spectacular!

A few years ago Craig noticed the site was showing it’s age. After spotting an unofficial user made trail that had little in the way of a noticeable grade and let to a spectacular view he had an idea. His wife’s younger brother uses a chair and has a hard time seeing places like Bruneau Canyon. So they started a plan that would upgrade the Overlook and convert that unofficial trail into something that would accommodate visitors with disabilities.

Public Land managers are often overworked and underappreciated. They face a host of challenges like dealing with competing public demands, loads of paperwork, and more. Years of work with other agencies, planning for the budget needs, public outreach, and site analysis was done and by a rainy day in the fall of 2016 the renovations were underway. A formal dedication ceremony was being planned when the renovation was complete. That meant that over time, a whole bunch of folks who had never had the opportunity to see the Bruneau Canyon were only a few months away from experiencing one of the most spectacular canyons in Idaho – one that because of it’s wilderness designation would stay that way.

The canyon drops hundreds of sheer feet to the river below, and in the silence of the landscape you can hear the rapids below. Raptors are often seen soaring the thermals above the canyons, and canyon wrens and meadowlarks can be heard. Like other wilderness areas in Idaho, it offers a chance to enjoy what some proponents have called “the hush of the land” – that rare and wonderful experience of the peace and solitude that happens when you are someplace where motors do not dominate the landscape.

As a wilderness area, the canyon is managed to leave it unimpaired for current and future generations, to protect it’s wilderness character, and to allow for public enjoyment. No motorized vehicles are allowed, no power lines, roads or wind turbines. Trails can be constructed, and in this case they are accessible to all. Everyone can enjoy the solitude and natural landscape that characterizes this area. Enjoy!

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1182 Eastland Drive North
Suite C
Twin Falls ID 83301
(208) 733-1712 VOICE
(208) 733-7711 TDD

1878 West Overland Road
Boise ID 83705
(208) 336-3335 VOICE
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Caldwell ID 83605
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