Outdoor Idaho host reflects on 'a mystery of a different kind'

Outdoor Idaho host Bruce Reichert takes a break in the Sawtooth Mountains near the headwaters of the Boise River during filming of "Idaho's Headwaters" in August 2015. Photo by Greg Stahl.

Bruce Reichert knows Idaho’s rivers.

As the longtime host of Idaho Public Television’s Outdoor Idaho program, Reichert has traveled to numerous peaks and valleys in every corner of the state. And while he’s also paddled and fished numerous miles of Idaho’s great rivers it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that he and his colleagues traveled to the headwaters of nearly all of the state’s biggest, most storied rivers.

Reichert joined IRU on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the Garden City Library for our monthly lecture series to reflect on the making of the hour-long television special, “Idaho’s Headwaters.”

“Streams and rivers are a mystery of a different kind,” Reichert told the audience of about 100. “They tell us a story about energy moving in great cycles always on a journey but always just beginning, part of a process that washes and refreshes even as they connect the mountains with the sea.”

Boasting 93,000 miles of waterways, Idaho has a treasure trove of incredible rivers. Idaho’s rivers are the lifeblood of the state’s cherished open spaces and wild country.

Reichert shared his thoughts and images, which he said “pay tribute to the hundreds of miles of small streams that transport water from the upper reaches of the watershed to the main part of a river.”

“Headwaters help determine the character of major rivers like the Snake, the Salmon, the Selway, the Boise, the Owyhee, the St. Joe. And in turn those rivers help define Idaho and the West,” Reichert said. 

Through his anecdotes and experiences Reichert made the case for keeping public lands public, the importance of open spaces for people to connect to the wild things giving Idahoans a taste of the sacred places in their state. These places, he said, are located in remote, rugged wonderfully wild country and remind people that they’re worth protecting.

  • Follow this link to read more about the project, including maps, essays, video teaser and interviews, including an interview Reichert conducted with IRU's Greg Stahl.