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Feeling the love

As we come to the end of another busy year for the SNRA, data collected supports what most of us already know. Our beloved SNRA is becoming more popular than ever.

As our population increases, and a need for people to get outdoors amidst a pandemic, recreationists, and management look for creative ways to enjoy and protect this Idaho wilderness. 

Finding a balance

Recreationists have wanted more- time at campsites, better access to trails, and a reliable reservation system. 

Management, short-staffed and overworked, looks for creative low-impact, and feasible solutions. Often filling in as maintenance workers, peacekeepers, and tour guides. 


Automatic Traffic Recorder Data (ATRD) showed a 20-27% increase in vehicle traffic traveling into the SNRA. The northern route shows slightly more volume.

The Camping Crunch study (2014-20) by The Center for Western Priorities (with the support of the SNRA), indicated increases and a change in user behaviors. As a result of the pandemic, reservable campsites in protected areas were more occupied during the peak season than other public lands. There was also an increase in long-term occupancy.

The data also identifies unanticipated destinations (less popular and less frequently maintained) that saw an uptick throughout the Sawtooth Wilderness. This shapes how the SNRA is managed and reaches its goals of endorsing wilderness recreation -while protecting the natural conditions of the Sawtooth wilderness. 

Your stewardship matters

While the data tells us what we already know, now is the time to act. Consider making an end-of-year donation, a commitment to volunteer, or the purchase of an SNRA Goat license plate. 

They matter more than ever. Keep this amazing area the incredible destination it was established to be nearly 50 years ago. It’s been a lot of work, and it’s going to take even more. Together we can reach the goals necessary to make it happen. 

Your Sawtooth Society donations 

  • Addresses policy issues that threaten the SNRA
  • Funds trail improvements, education programs, and on-the-ground enhancement efforts
  • Organizes volunteers to complete important restoration and recreational projects

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