Plenty of ways to celebrate National Public Lands Day with FSPW

“This land is your land . . . “

As September draws to a (currently) beautiful end, FSWP takes note of National Public Lands Day. Saturday, September 25 is a nation-wide celebration of our heritage of publicly-held lands. Last year, 150,ooo folks got outside and picked up trash, worked on trails and watersheds, planted trees and involved themselves in other conservation measures. This year, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks finds several ways to celebrate National Public Lands Day and help our efforts to protect 88,000 pristine acres on the Idaho/Montana border at the same time.

A donation to the 2010 Cinnabar Challenge Grant before October will double your gift, no matter how large or small it might be, making your budget and ours work better. The Cinnabar Challenge Grant is for $4,000. With your help, it can garner us $8,000 to continue working for wilderness in the Scotchman Peaks, part of our public lands. You can send a check to P.O. Box 2061, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 or simply click on the “Donate” button on the right side of this page.

The 2010 Scotchman Peaks Photo Contest is accepting entries through October 3, and there is always room for more. There are some great prizes waiting for the winners, as well as a bit of fame as we post the winners on our website.

The 2010 Scotchman Peaks Plein Air Paintout takes place September 24 through 26, with painters from around the West gathering in and around the Peaks to paint for wilderness. The works, to be produced on National Public Lands Day, will be shown at the Outskirts Gallery in Hope on Sunday the 26th. The works  and feature a collection of wilderness visions from over 20 artists. Come celebrate the beauty of the Scotchmans and assist FSPW, as well as the artists, by investing in a work that will bring the Scotchmans into your home year round.

Painters Aaron Johnson of Moscow, Idaho, and Jared Shear of Thompson Falls, Montana prime the pump this year by  each donating for silent auction a painting created within the confines of the proposed wilderness. The paintings will be on view with their auction sheets throughout the weekend at the Outskirts Gallery in the Hope Market Place.

When Woodie Guthrie wrote the song from which the phrase above comes, the National Wilderness Act was not yet a glimmer in the eyes of national legislators. The term “Primitive Area” had been applied to a few select places in the West, many National Parks had been designated, and millions of acres has been set aside to be managed for the public good by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, but the idea of a Wilderness Area had yet to be voiced. When LBJ signed the Wilderness Act in 1964, it was a radical new idea, to set aside part of our public lands “in perpetuity” as enclaves of a wild world that the policy of Manifest Destiny had all but consumed. Just in time.

Today, our public lands include millions of acres of designated wilderness, and much of it has been secured through the efforts of ordinary folks doing a little bit at a time, a small donation, a few hours of volunteer time per month, a letter to the editor or Congress or attendance at an organized event celebrating or advocating wilderness. We wish to make  the Scotchman Peaks are part of that legacy, and, with your help, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness pledge to continue to work toward seeing that they become part of those protected places.

This land is our land, after all, and part of the responsibility of ownership is stewardship. Celebrate National Public Lands Day by helping Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness be good stewards.

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Sandy Compton has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009. He is also a storyteller and author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and the publisher at

In addition to his other duties, he runs the FSPW All Star Trail Team (, which works on Forest Service trails in the Scotchman Peaks. He is a trail surveyor as well, and a C-Certified Crosscut Bucker/Feller and USFS National Saw Policy OHLEC instructor.

Sandy grew up on a small farm/woodlot at the south end of the proposed wilderness and lives there still. He is also board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and a planning team member for the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

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