Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Craters to hold Wild Saturday

Event to celebrate Wilderness Act


    Craters of the Moon National Monument near Carey will host Wild Saturday on Saturday, Sept. 27, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
    Park entrance is free at all national parks that day in recognition of National Public Lands Day.
    A Run the Rift Fun Run, a 5K and 10K run/walk will kick off the celebration at 8 a.m. It will take participants around volcanic features that inspired designation of the first wilderness area in the national park system. Runners and walkers can choose from 5- and 10-kilometer routes around the scenic Loop Road.
    Sponsored by the Craters of the Moon Natural History Association, the event is a fundraiser to help support field trips and educational programs at Craters of the Moon for Idaho school children. Space is limited to the first 100 registrants. Register online at
    In addition to the fun run, park staff will also offer the following free special events:
- Wilderness Puppet Show from 11 a.m. to noon at the visitor center theater. Experience the antics of Idaho critters as they share “A Song for Wilderness,” presented by the Idaho Puppet Theatre.
-  Wilderness trail sign dedication at 1:30 p.m. Hike to the sign, located on the Wilderness Trail, for a ribbon cutting and short speeches near the boundary of the first wilderness area in the national park system. Wilderness designation prevents construction of roads or buildings within the designated area. Scheduled speakers are Ethan Huffman from U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson’s office, Boise State University Professor John Freemuth, Wilderness Society spokesman Rob Mason and Lava Lake Ranch owner Brian Bean.
- Wilderness Film Festival from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. A selection of short films about wilderness will be shown.
- Star Party on Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27. Join experts from the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society and experience the universe under dark skies. Enjoy a presentation about the night sky and Craters of the Moon’s “unearthly” connections both nights in the campground amphitheater at 8:30 p.m. Then head to the Caves Area parking lot for telescope viewing of the skies above.
    The Wilderness Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on Sept. 3, 1964, after more than 60 drafts and eight years of work.
    Craters of the Moon National Monument is along U.S. Highway 20 about 28 miles east of Carey.

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