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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340

©2003 All rights reserved.


Current News & Issues: Wilderness


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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
Box 6313
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 our family.

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 here.

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.

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