Gannett Hills roadless area of the Idaho/Wyoming border

A late-June scene in the Gannett Hills. The distant peaks are in the Sublett Range of Wyoming

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Copyright Ralph Maughan. June 1999

The Gannett Hills are a little known area of tall, steep "hills" (or low mountains) that lap over the border of SE Idaho and SW Wyoming. Elk, antelope, mule deer, moose and coyotes are the most significant large animals. Some of the streams harbor two rare sub-species of cutthroat trout: the Bonneville cutthroat and the Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat.

The landscape is unstable. Excessive livestock grazing has degraded many of stream bottoms, although past abuses might be on the mend. The uplands are in good condition. In 1999 the number of livestock was reduced by 90% (temporary?), and the Gannett Hills were incredibly beautiful as a result. The fertile soil and natural salt licks make the area very important country for large ungulates.


The Gannett Hills are separated from the Red Mountain roadless area just to their west. Red Mountain is a local landmark, and notable for its wildlife. The separation between the two roadless areas is the Boulevard jeep trail. The name "Boulevard is in the nature of a joke -- it is one of the roughest trails in Idaho. Red Mountain too should be kept in its present roadless condition.

Below left is a view of the lush uplands of the Gannett Hills, and below right is a view up the north fork of Giraffe Creek in 1999, a year with little livestock grazing. Copyright © Ralph Maughan

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Gannett Hills
Springtime (early June) in the Gannett Hills.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan


 

The Gannett Hills roadless area/ Oct. 25, 2005