Bonners Ferry Ranger District lies within the Kaniksu National Forest. The word "Kaniksu" means "black robes" in the language use by the Kalispell Indians. They were referring to the habits worn by the Jesuit Priests that helped settle this area of Idaho.
So, the Kaniksu was finally here to stay - well, yes and no. In June of 1973, the Forest Service consolidated the Kaniksu, Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe National Forests under the administrative title "Idaho Panhandle National Forests." So legally, the area is still the Kaniksu, but from a practical point of view they call us the "Panhandle."
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