“Wintering elk and CIEDRA’S proposed SNRA land conveyances”
Letter from Central Idahoans for
Accountability in Government to Rep. Mike Simpson inviting him to a tour.
Central Idahoans for Accountability in Government
P.O. Box 149
Stanley, Idaho 83278
March 10, 2005
Rep. Mike Simpson
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Subject: Wintering elk and CIEDRA’S proposed SNRA land conveyances
Dear Rep. Simpson,
You have asked for input before you re-introduce CIEDRA in Congress.
There are few views more stunning than a herd of elk against the brilliant
backdrop of the Sawtooths in winter.
We are hoping that you might visit and be able to view them. We are
including recent photographs of wintering elk in the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area (SNRA) between Stanley and Lower Stanley. Eighty elk
wintered here in the past five months along Valley Creek hot springs and
nearby uplands. In hard winters there may be 125 to 150 elk.
Although elk have wintered here for generations, seeing the herds this
year has an unprecedented importance because of legislation you introduced
last year, the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA).
Your bill, in its current form would greatly harm these elk and their
traditional wintering grounds, if the affected lands were transferred out
of the SNRA for real estate and/or commercial development. The Sawtooths’
trophy elk could be replaced by trophy homes, condos, apartments,
campgrounds and RV’s.
CIEDRA would give away 68 acres (on either side of Valley Creek), and 86
acres on the Valley Creek bench above the Stanley Museum. These SNRA lands
would be sold and subdivided, and/or paved over for commercial uses.
Taking away historic elk winter range would place the elk into greater
conflict with humans, dogs, new fences, ornamental plantings and
collisions with vehicles.
Unless modified, CIEDRA would profoundly and irrevocably damage important
wildlife, botanical and scenic values that we hold dear in the Sawtooth
Knowing that you care about the fate of wildlife in the SNRA, we encourage
you to come see the elk for yourself and talk with us. We now face a
situation where wildlife would be seriously affected or forced out from
their traditional wintering grounds. This has occurred in the Wood River
Valley. We don’t want it to happen here.
We hope you can visit, but regardless, we urge you to withdraw the
proposal to give away SNRA and other lands (including at Cape Horn) to
Custer County and the City of Stanley for development.
While we support the protection of the Boulder-White Clouds, this should
not come at the expense of ruining wildlife habitat and other priceless
public lands in the SNRA and elsewhere.
Please contact Noel Sitton, 208/774-4000 to arrange a tour, so that we
might discuss this critical wildlife issue first hand.
Dave Kimpton, Stanley
Marie Osborn, Stanley
Noel Sitton, Stanley
Kitty Anderson, Stanley
Jerry Hughes and Carol Finley, Stanley
Hans and Lotte Muller, Stanley
Tom Stuart, Lower Stanley
Kirk Bachman, Lower Stanley
Gary and Laurii Gadwa, Lower Stanley
Drew and Ann Nosworthy, Valley Creek
Tom and Ellen Glaccum, Iron Creek
Marilyn Mueller, Obsidian
Andy Munter and Janet Kellam, Fisher Creek
Lois Glenn, Smiley Creek
Doug and Ann Christensen, Ketchum