Primary author: DJ Lee

Primary college/unit: Arts and Sciences
Campus: Pullman


The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, one of the most remote landscapes in the U.S., stretches across Idaho and Montana in the Northern Rockies, where it borders the Frank Church River of No Return and the Gospel Hump Wildernesses to form the largest roadless wildland in the lower 48 states at over 5 million acres. I, my co-PI at the University of Idaho, WSU graduate students, and digital librarians, received the prestigious NEH Collaborative Research Grant for the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project in 2010. We collected 16 linear feet of photographs, maps, and documents and conducted 50 oral history interviews—the first ever digital and analog archive of a single Wilderness area. In 2014, our project was honored during the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, solidifying its importance to Wilderness studies in the U.S. and worldwide. Since then, the value of Wilderness has increased globally as it becomes clear how vital large, roadless wildlands are for carbon sequestration, wild animal habitat, and biodiversity, not to mention spiritual renewal. Two creative products designed to reach larger audiences have grown from the project: 1) a podcast of curated stories from oral history interviewees with photo slideshows; 2) my creative nonfiction book, REMOTE: FINDING HOME IN THE BITTERROOTS from Oregon State University Press, forthcoming March 3, 2020. REMOTE was featured as one the most anticipated books by the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association in October 2019. My Showcase Poster will focus on the creative products and processes of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Project.