Wednesday, September 14, 2011

National Geographic to feature Idaho rivers

Library offers rare sneak peek at images

Express Staff Writer

National Geographic photographer Michael Melford put his award-winning focus on a few of Idaho’s most famous wild and scenic rivers that will be featured in a November issue of the acclaimed magazine.Courtesy Idaho Rivers United

It's the rare American who hasn't thumbed through a National Geographic magazine. The power of the photos taken for the magazine's features has engaged generations, whether it be a story on distant lands, wildlife or the naked people of a primitive tribe.

The editors of National Geographic recently set their sights on "The Wild & Scenic Rivers of America," and Idaho will be included in the magazine's November issue.

Thanks to the Community Library in Ketchum, the public will get a rare sneak peek at the work done by National Geographic photographer Michael Melford in a presentation slated for Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m.

It's only the second time in the acclaimed magazine's history that it has allowed a photographer's images to be publically shared prior to an issue's release.

Melford will share images from his trips into Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon, Owyhee and Bruneau rivers, among others.

"This is a unique opportunity to meet one of National Geographic's highly respected photographers, and one who has focused on some of the places we know and cherish here in Idaho," said Bill Sedivy, executive director of Boise-based Idaho Rivers United.

Sedivy said he was alongside Melford on some of his outings.

"In the spring of 2010, I had the opportunity to work with Michael in the Bruneau and Owyhee canyon country," he said. "He is a down-to-earth, amiable and extremely talented guy."

Melford is an award-winning, internationally renowned photographer. Since 2003, he has completed more than a dozen feature-length photo assignments for National Geographic, including "Saving Civil War Battlefields," "Acadia National Park," "Glen Canyon Revealed," and "Great Smoky Mountain National Park." Melford's December 2010 package on Bristol Bay, Alaska, was widely acclaimed around the globe.

Sedivy said Idaho's inclusion made perfect sense.

"Idaho has some of the finest Wild & Scenic Rivers in the country," he said. "From the Middle Fork of the Salmon to the Lochsa and Selway, to name only a few, Idaho is synonymous with Wild & Scenic Rivers."

The late Sen. Frank Church championed the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The act has since protected more than 11,000 miles on 166 rivers in 38 states.

Idaho is home to more than 1,000 miles of America's finest Wild & Scenic Rivers, including 316 miles of new designations in southwest Idaho's desert canyon country that were signed into law as Wild & Scenic in 2009. These rivers and their corridors provide habitat for wildlife and treasured recreational places for rafters, anglers, campers, cyclists, hikers and others.

To view some of Melford's work, visit


Preview of photos to be featured in upcoming National Geographic feature on the nation's rivers

Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m.

Community Library, Ketchum


Jennifer Liebrum:

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