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Ketchum, Idaho 83340

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Current News & Issues: Wilderness


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Letter to Mt. Express, by Lynne Stone.


On the Eve of Great Wilderness Protection


February 15, 2006
Mountain Express, Ketchum Idaho

Dear Editor:

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 development.

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

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