Deep in the heart of Idaho lies the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, part of the largest roadless area left in the lower 48 states. At 2.5 million acres, it is larger than Yellowstone, yet most people have never even heard of it. Designated a federally-protected wilderness in 1980 by Congress, the region is full of deep canyons and mountain forests, rivers and abundant wildlife. Otters and elk, deer and coyotes, blue birds and bighorn sheep, and newly-restored wolf populations all thrive there.
Today, nine packs of wolves roam freely through the park, each pack dependent on family — raising their young and hunting together.
Working with the Nez Perce Tribe in Central Idaho, wolf biologist Isaac Babcock spent 13 years participating in the wolf reintroduction program organized in the area. Wanting to share the raw beauty of the land and the wolves with his new wife, Bjornen, Isaac proposes spending a year there as an unconventional honeymoon, documenting their days as they go along. River of No Return tells their story, the story of a couple that took on the wilderness and all its challenges. The two have come to treasure their experience in an untamed place that, for a period of time, they called home.
Watch Nature: River of No Return April 18 at 8:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS
SOLs: Science-LS.11, BIO.7
Program Length: 1 hour
Teacher resources may be found here.