MAY 19 2005 UPDATE: In response to our comments
and those of many others, Rep. Mike Simpson withdrew his proposal to build
a motorized trail through Phyllis Lake basin to Champion Lakes. Phyllis
Lake and Champion Lakes drainages will stay closed to motorbikes, but not
be Wilderness. Fourth of July Lake trail will be closed to motorized and
mechanized (mountain bike) use in the summer, but snowmobiles will be
allowed in winter. Washington Lake will be open to motorbikes via
Washington Lake Creek/Pole Creek. Heart Lake and Six Lakes Basin will
remain closed to motorbikes, but not be in Wilderness. Rough Lake trail
will remain open to motorbikes.
The following is Boulder-White Clouds Council Oral Testimony, July
1, 2004, Ketchum Town Meeting.
Oral Comments on Rep. Mike Simpsonís
Central Idaho Framework
July 1, 2004 Town Meeting
Ketchum Legion Hall, Ketchum, Idaho
Lynne K. Stone, Director
Boulder-White Clouds Council
Ketchum ID 83340
Thank you, Rep. Simpson for your efforts. I work for the
Boulder-White Clouds Council here in Ketchum. Iím a big fan of wildlife. I
hike. I own three mountain bikes. I wrote a mountain bike guide.
And Iíd like to take a minute and talk about how, to me,
wilderness isnít about recreation.
Iíd like to think that all of us, whether weíre
snowmobilers or mountain bikers or hikers or motorcyclists, that we like
the wildlife. And, we all want at times to have peace and quiet with
This year we will be making a decision and it will be a
decision that will last forever.
Right now as we are meeting here, there are mountain
goats on ledges above Fourth of July Lake, Phyllis Lake and Germania
Creek; bighorns in Bighorn Basin and on Railroad Ridge; elk with
their new spotted calves in the quiet of East Pass Creek and Herd
Creek. And our gray wolves -- the Castle Peak and Galena Packs --
feeling the warm morning sun -- and I wonít say where they are.
Thank you for recognizing, Congressman, the high wildlife
values on the east side -- the high plateaus of the Herd Creek and
Jerry Peak country. I love that country. Itís the best part of your
plan. Itís hard for me not to want to take this plan.
But there are areas that we need to work on. And I
know youíre reasonable and I know the Republican party cares about the
environment, and cares about wildlife and we can fix this. I have some
suggestions. Here they are. Theyíre easy.
Number 1 - Your plan makes motorized recreation the
number one use of the White Cloud west side. I feel that harms family
values. It harms the opportunity for me to take my son and my future
grandchildren to a lake thatís not a hard hike.
We all know these places, we can all walk to them. We can
walk to them as three-year olds and ninety-year olds. And they are Fourth
of July, Washington Lake, Phyllis Lake, Heart Lake and Six Lakes Basin.
Itís Rough Creek and if youíre adventuresome, Rough Lake. These need to be
Wilderness in your plan.
We urge you to get rid of this absurd idea of turning
Champion Lakes into a motorized nightmare. Champion Lakes is not even open
to mountain bikes. (Applause) Furthermore, the proposal to build a trail
from Phyllis Lake, which is now closed to motors, over a 9.400í pass and
then go into Washington Basin, then over Washington Peak, which is 10,500í
high, so that motorcycles and snowmobiles can get into the Champion Lakes
drainage borders on criminal in my mind. (Applause)
I wasnít going to speak today because I wanted to hear
from you in the audience. And then I decided that -- as I slept out by the
Boulders along the Big Wood River last night -- that I just had to get up
Number 2 - Giving Parks & Rec $1 million dollars.
Thatís a non starter. They all about motorized recreation. If you give
Idaho Dept. of Parks & Rec a million dollars to spend here it will ruin
the White Clouds. Instead, give the money to the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area, the Challis Forest and the BLM. Keep Parks & Rec out of
here. (Applause) Those of you who fought the 460 mile ATV trail in the Big
Lost know where these people are coming from. Theyíre a state agency. They
donít have to follow environmental laws nor get public input.
Number 3 - and this is the last one. And this has
already been hit on -- the plan as it stands right now undermines
everything the Sawtooth National Recreation Area was created to save in
1972. We didnít save Castle Peak from the bulldozers and mining -- to
give it over to motorized recreation on almost every trail on the west
side.(applause) We have to fix that.
Right now Boulder-White Clouds Council cannot support this
proposal. Weíd like to support it. Weíre real willing to compromise,
weíre willing to give some trails over the motorized recreation. Weíve
already had some arguments today with the purists who think weíre going to
get it all, the whole chunk intact. Weíre not. But I happen to think that
motorized users care about this place as well. Iíve heard a lot of them
say they donít want Germania Creek improved. They want it tough. They want
it to be expert only.
So, letís keep working together. Thank you again,
Congressman, and thank all of you for coming.