Rep. Mike Simpson is a conservative Republican from Idaho, whose concept of wildness in the 1990s was going into the rough at a golf course.

He fought higher taxes and remains a strong advocate for gun and states’ rights. But he changed as he waged a 13-year campaign to protect the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains in central Idaho. He began hiking the area, finding it a place of God. “The streams, the lakes, the forests are His cathedral, and you don’t desecrate a cathedral, you preserve it,” he said in 2014.

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