Joe's Story

Joe Williams
An Idaho backcountry horseman shares his love of wilderness with fellow riders and others.

A log home and livestock housing contractor, Joe Williams lives with his wife Wanda and their two sons in the Treasure Valley near the mountains of Idaho.

Joe Williams had his first wilderness experience in 1971, when he visited the Frank Church Wilderness, which was then known as the Idaho Primitive Area. “I valued the total solitude one could get,” he says. “It was a challenge to travel in that untamed country.”

Trail blazing

As a member of the Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen (BCH) of Idaho, Joe works on conservation projects, including doing maintenance and rebuilding of the wilderness’ backcountry trails. He also a Stock User Leave No Trace Master, so he teaches horseback and mule riders how to minimize their impact while traveling in the county’s wilderness areas.

Joe loves to share his wilderness knowledge and skills with others. “Packing in youth crews has been the most rewarding experience.” he says.

Joe is also politically involved through the Back Country Horsemen, contributing to fundraising and letter campaigns for wilderness issues. “Our wilderness land transportation system is falling in disrepair [due to] lack of maintenance dollars being given to management agencies to get the job done,” Joe says. "It would be a great loss to the country to lose our wilderness areas. Where would one go to search for one's soul?"

“It would be a great loss to the country to lose our wilderness areas. Where would one go to search for one’s soul?”

Path of peace

Joe’s contributions to wilderness pay off with their own rewards, including the chance to get away from life’s everyday pressures.  Wilderness “ gives one time to just think about things,” he says. “Seeing the cycle of forest fires, winter runoff, and then forest re-growth can teach one to just be patient,” he muses.

You can help protect Idaho's wilderness. With a small donation, you can become a WIlderness Society member.