The third lecture in the Historical Museum of St. Gertrude October lecture series will be presented this Thursday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. by Jim and Holly Akenson. Their presentation “7,003 Days” will provide a unique perspective on life and work in the backcountry of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness as wildlife biologists.

Jim and Holly Akenson met while attending Eastern Oregon University, both graduating in 1979. After Holly’s completion of a secondary education degree and Jim with a bachelor’s of environmental science degree, they spent the next 21 years in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in the rugged Salmon River Mountains of Central Idaho.

The Akensons narrative, “7,003 Days,” begins in 1982 when the eager young couple, seeking adventure and challenge, move to a log cabin in the backcountry to manage the Taylor Ranch, the University of Idaho’s wilderness research station. From the riveting terror fleeing a raging wild fire to the humorous diplomacy working a pack string of mules, their story is told as if you were with them watching camp embers fade.  They describe encounters with wildlife and nature, from tracking wolves and cougars to navigating the challenges of remote ranch work.

During their 35 year careers in natural resources, Holly has served as a governor appointed Fish and Wildlife commissioner representing eastern Oregon and Jim as the stateside conservation director and spokesperson for the Oregon Hunters Association.  He was also a member of the Eastern Oregon University Alumni Association Board from 2012-2015.

A Q&A session with the Akensons follows the lecture. The event is free and light refreshments are provided. The lecture will take place in the Johanna Room at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude located at 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, Idaho.

These events have been made possible and free to the public through a partnership with the Idaho Humanities Council. For more information: 208-962-2054 or

Learn more about the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude…