WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds today’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation to designate as wilderness more than 275,000 acres of public land in central Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds region. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act, sponsored by Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), also will promote recreational activities that drive local economies and facilitate the voluntary retirement of eligible grazing permits. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
Mike Matz, director of the U.S. public lands program at The Pew Charitable Trusts, issued this statement:
“We appreciate the commitment and leadership of Rep. Mike Simpson, Sen. Jim Risch, and the Idaho delegation to safeguard the Boulder-White Clouds region and the economies of its adjacent communities. Their vision and hard work to preserve this iconic place—where families can hike and camp, motorized recreationists can ride, and hunters and anglers can enjoy some of the best resources the nation has to offer—will be appreciated by Idahoans and visitors alike for generations to come.
“Pew has worked with the Idaho delegation and local partners for more than a decade to move this legislation forward. It has been a challenging path over the years, and difficult compromises have been required of all the stakeholders. But perseverance, a balanced agreement, and solid local support have made passage in the House a reality and shown that wilderness is truly our country’s common ground.
“We are delighted that wilderness designation—the strongest protection a national landscape can receive—is close to fruition. The Boulder-White Clouds needs permanent protection now. We urge quick passage in the Senate to ensure that this spectacular area will be forever conserved.”
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.