Cecil D. Andrus WMA

Before You Go

WMA Fire Closure is Rescinded

Cecil D. Andrus WMA is now re-opened. Read press releases below for details. Thank you for respecting the recent closure.


The Cecil D. Andrus WMA encompasses 23,928 acres in the breaks of the Snake River canyon along Brownlee Reservoir.  The WMA provides a range of opportunities for visitors from hunting to wildlife watching. The area is open year-round to foot and non-motorized travel.

Motorized vehicles can be used to access the WMA roads from May 1 to December 31. Roads are gated and visitors can pick up a key at the WMA office on site. Keys can be reserved starting September 1 by calling the WMA office at 208-257-3363. 


Visiting Hours:

Open year-round, seven days a week.


Cecil D. Andrus WMA

4187 Highway 71
Cambridge, ID 83610
United States

WMA facts

Primary Purpose: Year-round and winter range for elk and mule deer.

Habitat: Grasslands, sagebrush steppe, shrublands, riparian and conifer forest

  • 23,928 acres
  • Washington and Adams counties
  • Established in 1993

things to know

Motorized travel is allowed on the WMA from May 1 to December 31. 

  • Roads are gated and require a key, which visitors can check out at the WMA office on site
  • A limited number of keys are available per day.
  • Between May 1 and August 31, keys are provided on a first come first served basis.
  • Starting September 1 at 7:00am, keys can be reserved in advance by contacting the WMA office at 208-257-3363. 
  • Go to Road Access and Gate Keys to learn more. 

Finding a weather forecast for this remote WMA is challenging. The best reference for weather is Baker City, Oregon.

Andrus WMA has a headquarters office on site.  Office hours vary by season; be sure to call for current information. 208-257-3363


Cecil D. Andrus WMA rises from Brownlee Reservoir 5,000 feet up into slopes and ridges of Hells Canyon. Nearly 24,000 acres of prime mule deer and elk winter range also supports chukar, forest grouse, turkeys, black bear, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife.

The WMA includes land owned by Idaho Fish and Game and several other partners – Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and private landowners. Fish and Game works cooperatively with all of these entities to manage the lands within the WMA.

The Fish and Game property has a long history of ranching and mining prior to being purchased by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, which donated it for the purpose of wildlife conservation in 1993. Livestock grazing occurs on the WMA and the grazing program demonstrates compatible wildlife and livestock use of rangelands.



Most people visit during the fall hunting seasons to elk, mule deer, turkey, and upland bird hunt. There is a year-round no shooting safety zone around the WMA headquarters and other buildings.

The WMA is nearly 24,000 acres. Motorized vehicles are allowed to use the roads from May 1 to December 31 to access the WMA, but there a few rules of the road.

  • You will need a key to the gates to access roads on the WMA.
  • All motorized vehicles must stay on the road. No off road travel is allowed by motorized vehicles, even to recover game.
  • Electric vehicles, such as bikes, golf carts, etc..., are considered motorized vehicles and managed as such. Exceptions are made for personal mobility equipment (electric wheel chairs) for people with verified disabilities.
  • If it is raining or wet, all roads are ATV/UTV only.
  • Oversized UTVs and UTVs capable of hauling 6 or more people are considered full size vehicles.
  • Do not block gates.
  • No tracked vehicles are allowed.
  • No camping or overnight parking behind gates.

What you need to know about gate keys:

  • You will need a key to the gates to access roads on the WMA.
  • A limited number of keys are available every day.
  • Keys can be reserved in advance through the WMA headquarters, starting September 1 at 7am.
  • Keys can only be reserved for a total of 7 days. A reservation can be for 7 straight days or broken up into any combination of days.
  • A group can only have one key.

Reservations for big game and upland game seasons fill up quickly, so plan your hunts ahead to ensure a key will be available. Gate key reservations may be made through the WMA headquarters. Call 208-257-3363 starting September 1 at 7 a.m.

Be sure to check Idaho’s Seasons and Rules for up-to-date hunting information.

Trapping is allowed on the WMA. Trappers must check in with WMA staff prior to trapping activities.

Brownlee Reservoir and 30 miles of streams within the WMA provide diverse fishing opportunities.

The WMA is home to a variety of resident and migratory animals – elk, deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lion, upland birds, turkey, raptors, reptiles, and amphibians.

There is no camping or overnight parking behind the gates on the WMA. Camping is limited to select areas, which include pull outs on USFS Road 085 and the Brownlee Fish Access area at the mouth of Brownlee Creek.

Idaho Power manages the Woodhead Park campground adjacent to Brownlee Reservoir and the WMA.

Other nearby camping facilities include Idaho Power’s McCormick Park below Brownlee Dam, and the USFS Brownlee Guard Station Campground in the Payette National Forest.

Horseback riding is a popular activity on the WMA and a great way to explore this vast landscape.