SPOTLIGHT: New Book Captures 21 Years Living In The Frank Church Wilderness

Dec 1, 2016

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area is a step back in time. The area is rough and rugged and few people actually live in this part of central Idaho’s backcountry.

But tucked into the middle of these sprawling public lands is the University of Idaho’s wilderness research station, known as Taylor Ranch. From there, researchers conduct surveys on everything from wolves to bears to cougars to wildfires.

Researchers Jim and Holly Akenson were among those who made Taylor Ranch their home. Now they're looking back, with a new book called “7003 Days: 21 Years In The Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness.”

The husband and wife team talk about their amazing experiences in the book.

In August of 2000, wildfire came to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Jim and Holly got caught in the middle of the blaze. Jim says they made it out OK.

“And that was extremely harrowing, it was certainly life-threatening and it made for a good action-packed chapter to write about,” says Jim Akenson.

As Jim and Holly ran from the 2000 wildfire, they managed to capture this shot of Holly in front of the flames.
Credit Jim and Holly Akenson

The Frank Church is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the Lower 48. Currently, Jim and Holly live in eastern Oregon. Jim works for the Oregon Hunter’s Association and Holly is on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

They’ll be in downtown Boise at Rediscovered Books on January 17 to talk about their book “7003 Days.”

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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