Give Thanks for the Wild

On Thanksgiving Day many of us will take a few moments to consider our blessings and give thanks for those things which bring us abundance and pleasure, which uplift us and make us better people, which create stronger connections and community.

I am thankful for Wild Places, for the excitement and pleasure they provide; and for the pursuit of their protection.  I am thankful for the untamed Scotchman Peaks which are part of the West Cabinets and all their nearby siblings in the Cabinet Mountains, Bitterroots, Purcells and Selkirks. I am thankful for groups like the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, Idaho Conservation League, Montana Wilderness Association, Cabinet Resource Group, Yaak Valley Forest Council and many others who work to keep these places Wild.

I am thankful for the opportunity to experience raw and rugged beauty, the powerful forces of nature, the unforgiving elements – they heighten every emotion and keep me connected to the natural world. I am grateful to those who came before me and had the vision, passion and courage to keep these places wild and untamed so that I could experience them. From Thoreau to Aldo Leopold, Benton MacKaye Bob Marshall, Howard Zahniser and more recently Edward Abby, Doug Scott, Bart Koehler, Tim Mahoney and countless other Wilderness heroes, I thank you!

I give personal thanks to all those tireless souls in congress and their staffs who helped to create and pass the Wilderness Act.

I am thankful to the people who helped bring Wilderness protection to certain special places I have hiked in and cherish: to the Cascades and High Sierra, to the Appalachians, to the Bob Marshall, Wind Rivers and the rest of the Continental Divide.

I am thankful for everyone in our own community in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana who have come together to preserve these same Wilderness experiences  in the Scotchmans, for ourselves today and for the generations to come.

I want to personally give thanks to the entire board, staff and whole range of volunteers, allies and supporters who have helped the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness in our efforts to protect the Scotchmans.  Each of you inspires me and has taught me more than you will ever know through your own passion, dedication and personal connections to the lands we love.

Most of all I want to thank everyone who is a supporter of the “Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness”; you are the foundation upon which our successes have been built and will continue to be realized. You are the community which shows others what is possible.

While you are giving thanks today, join me and take a moment to share one or two of your thoughts on what wild things you are thankful for, and why.  Please write in the comments below or visit our Facebook fan page.  We want to hear from you! 

Why do you give thanks for the wild?

Let’s all give thanks for the Wild!

By: Phil Hough, Exec Director, FSPW

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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  1. Hey Phil,
    Though I’m a darned long way from the wonderful panhandle country of Idaho (got on with the USFWS and am in Maryland,) I follow what all you FSPW folks are doing. I am ALWAYS impressed and that is no the honest truth.
    Keep up the great work!
    Colby Hawkinson

    -Aldo Leopold

    1. (Whoops, a few typos in the last message.)

      Thanks again for what you are doing and please tell Don Clark hey for me when you see him.

      “I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”
      -Aldo Leopold

  2. Thanks Colby! Congrats on the new job – keep in touch!

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