Scotchman Peaks Make Their 6000th (and 6001st) Friend

Groundswell of Support for Proposed Wilderness Area Continues to Grow

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks (FSPW) have been hard at work drumming up support for the rugged area sitting on the Idaho – Montana border. All the work has produced serious gains in the political arena, where the Friends are advocating for permanent designation of the Scotchman Peaks as a Wilderness area. These gains are driven by the organization’s ability to make a few new friends – every day, that is. The Friends of Scotchman Peaks now number over 6,000 individuals, which is gain of over 1,000 “friends” in the past year. These 6,000 friends are comprised of a diverse group of individuals, and the 6,000th (and 6,001st) are excellent examples of the dynamic coalition of support that FSPW has built.

Ryan and Kate Sullivan moved to Hope, Idaho last August, after Ryan was offered a job at Northwest Academy, where Kate now works as well. Kate (24) and Ryan (28) met in Colorado, where they got married before embarking on adventures of epic proportions in the vast Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. When the Sullivans came back to the United States, it was to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, where they lived before moving to Idaho, nearly sight unseen.

Through their work at Northwest Academy, Ryan and Kate met some “friends” of the Scotchman Peaks, who introduced them to the organization. In December of 2015, the couple decided to attend the FSPW Holiday Party, where they met board members, staff, long time volunteers, and other newly interested attendees. It was here that Ryan and Kate signed up to be the 6,000th and 6,001st friends of the Scotchman Peaks, and helped FSPW pass yet another milestone.

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks is an organization that prides itself on the community that surrounds it. There are few entities with a political mission that can claim to have as wide and deep of a support base as the Friends. Because of the continued engagement of thousands of members of the community, as well as the endorsements of highly respected publications and individuals, FSPW can point to a diverse coalition that declares their support for the Scotchman Peaks becoming Wilderness.

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Categories: Blog, News, Right Now
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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