Letters to the Editor

Boulder-White Clouds

There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the fate of the Boulder-White Clouds area. While Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has been the standard-bearer for these efforts for over a decade, his previous attempts to get a plan through Congress have fallen short. With the current dysfunction in Congress, the legislative route seems as unlikely as ever.

National monument designation would offer permanent protections to Idahoans who know the unique and intrinsic wilderness value of this region. And, unlike Simpson’s bill, a monument designation is possible.

The disjointed management structure that currently exists fails to adequately protect this area. Contention over land use persists, and as we wait for consensus among stakeholders and Congressional action, the area’s terrain and biodiversity continue to be degraded. We, as Idahoans, have a chance to be a part a lasting and sustainable solution by supporting monument designation.

A national monument would provide a functioning management plan to preserve and rebuild habitat for local species, while maintaining access for sportsmen and recreationists. It is time to get this done. If we continue to wait, we risk losing what makes this place so special and worthy of protection.

Jan Philipsborn, Ketchum