Letter to Mt. Express, by Lynne Stone.
On the Eve of Great Wilderness Protection
February 15, 2006
Mountain Express, Ketchum Idaho
For 24 years Iíve worked on seeking Wilderness for the Boulder-White
Clouds. Rep. Mike Simpsonís CIEDRA bill for these mountains is a
compromise. But a compromise that delivers over 300,000 acres of new
Wilderness to the American people and to the wildlife that call the
Boulder-White Clouds home.
This year, Rep. Simpsonís bill, now in its 5th revision, may pass Congress
and at long last, the wildness of high lake basins like Big Boulder,
Boulder Chain, Chamberlain, O'Calkens, Deer Lakes and Born Lakes will be
protected forever. Future generations will be assured that the pristine
alpine vistas of Castle Peak, David O. Lee Peak (ďAlabaster PeakĒ), Ants
Basin, Bighorn Basin, Sheep Mountain and Bowery Peak will remain.
The vast land known as the White Cloud Serengeti that stretches from the
East Fork Salmon River eastward toward Jerry Peak would also be
Wilderness. So would the Herd Creek watershed, East Pass, Hunter Creek and
upper Twin Bridges -- all would be protected from motorized intrusion and
Predators like gray wolf, mountain lion and black bear would benefit with
the removal of livestock from much of the Boulder-White Clouds. So would
salmon and steelhead, cutthroat and bull trout. CIEDRA provides for
voluntary grazing permit retirements for ranchers.
Traditional humans uses of outfitting, horse packing, hunting and fishing
would continue. Agency wildlife management would adhere to strict
restrictions within The Wilderness Act.
Thereís no place on earth I love more than the heart of Idaho. We stand on
the verge of protecting, forever, some of the most spectacular and
wildlife rich country left on the planet. Itís time to lay down our swords
and plan to celebrate the first new Wilderness in Idaho in 25 years.
Lynne K. Stone, Director
Boulder-White Clouds Council