The 2019 Frank Church River of No Return America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin will be released by the United States Mint as the last of five 2019-dated strikes of the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. Showcased on the reverse of the coin will be a design emblematic of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness located in the state of Idaho.
Not only will the Frank Church River of No Return Silver Uncirculated Coin mark the last of five coins of the series to appear in 2019, it will also be the fiftieth to be released in the program overall. This series of coins will see a total of fifty-six when it is completed in 2021.
The program debuted with five 2010-dated strikes and features five new releases annually until the last one is issued in 2021. Each one features a different reverse design emblematic of a selected site of national interest. One site wash chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five US territories. Release order for the coins of the program is dictated by the order in which the selected sites came under the direct control of the federal government.
Coins of this series are struck as the numismatic versions of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™. Both series features designs originally created by the US Mint for the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
This includes an obverse portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The image of Washington, by artist John Flanagan, first appeared on the 1932 circulating quarter dollar and has been featured on quarters ever since, with minor variations.
The reverse design for this coin should be unveiled by the US Mint in late 2018.
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness of Idaho
The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is located in the state of Idaho. It was officially established on January 1, 1980.
This wilderness comprises a total of 2,366,757 acres which makes it the second largest protected wilderness in the continental United States. Included as part of the wilderness are the Salmon River and several mountain ranges as well as all of the flora and fauna of the region.
The site takes its name from Frank Church, a US Senator responsible for helping to protect the region and the nickname for the Salmon River – River of No Return.
The National Forest Service has this descriptive paragraph for the wilderness:
:Ranking as the second largest Wilderness in the National Wilderness Preservation System is only one of the many attributes of which the Frank Church-River of No Return can boast. Its namesake, Frank Church (Senator and lawyer) played a major role in passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, and in the creation of the River of No Return Wilderness in 1980. The treacherous waters of the Main Salmon River slice through a chasm deeper than the Grand Canyon—hence its moniker as the River of No Return. Portions of this 2.4 million acre Wilderness are located on five different national forests—the Boise, Bitterroot, Nez Perce, Payette, and Salmon-Challis. Many of its visitors venture into these wild lands on the river corridors of both the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River."