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Grant number like: RZ-51159-10

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Washington State University (Pullman, WA 99164-0001)
Debbie J. Lee (Project Director: November 2009 to November 2014)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$200,000 (approved)
$198,946 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2014

Historico-Cultural Interpretation and Preservation of the Iconic Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana

Collection of archival materials and oral histories; creation of a website; and writing and preparation for print publication of a cultural history of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. (36 months)

The products of our project--a historical book, web-exhibit, and archival collection--will promote a better understanding of the relationship between humans and natural environments in one of America's largest and most pristine wilderness areas. Although people have interacted with the land that now comprises the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness since prehistory, the human impact on the area is negligible compared to other U.S. wildlands. Why? Who chose this area as home? What decisions did people make about living on the land? What laws did they establish, and why? How did the landscape's rigors aid in the preservation process? Answering such questions is vital to understanding not only the Selway-Bitterroot, but also wilderness areas more broadly, at a time when citizens throughout the country struggle with how best to interact with and manage wildlands, which arguably are among our most important national resources.