Issues: Watersheds, Wildlife
Partner: Idaho Rivers United
Airport Origin : Owyhee, NV
Provide the aerial perspective to Idaho Rivers United and their partners, to give passengers a better understanding of the lands threatened by a proposed military expansion. Create a call-to-action video to help generate public comment!
The Owyhee is a rugged, remote region of sagebrush steppe and deep canyons cut by rivers flowing from mountainous headwaters. It covers southeast Idaho along with parts of eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The area provides critical refuge for iconic species such as bighorn sheep, sage grouse, and the southernmost population ESA-listed bull trout. The Owyhee is defined by its incredible opportunities for solitude, its wild nature, and valuable assets to indigenous peoples and outdoor enthusiasts. Over 600,000 acres of Wilderness and 324 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers have been designated in the Owyhee, with many areas eligible for future designation.
The Air Force is proposing to expand its overflight operations in the Owyhee and allow for fighter jet flights just 100 feet above ground level and supersonic flight as low as 5,000 feet. Low “operational floors” are already established in Idaho, the proposal would expand very low military flights across the entire region. The Wild and Scenic river canyons of the Owyhee and Bruneau-Jarbidge watersheds are managed for their “outstandingly remarkable” scenic, recreational, geologic, fish, wildlife, and cultural values. The Air Force’s planned expansion of operations threatens to disturb rivers and canyons in the region not yet designated as Wild and Scenic, but every bit as special as those that have been.