Statement

Pew Notes Commitment to Permanently Protect Idaho's Boulder-White Clouds

About

WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today commended Rep. Mike Simpson and Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho for their continued interest in preserving the Boulder-White Clouds region through federal legislation that would also foster the economic growth of local communities.

Pew has worked with the Idaho delegation and local partners for more than a decade to move legislation forward and appreciates the delegation’s continued efforts in the 114th Congress. Since 2013, however, Pew has pursued a presidential national monument designation as a more reliable approach to permanently protecting the Boulder-White Clouds area.

Marcia Argust, an officer with Pew’s U.S. public lands project, 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. However, we believe the best approach to ensure that this natural treasure is preserved now is through a national monument proclamation. We recognize that wilderness designation offers the strongest protection available, and we would prefer to see legislation move forward that includes provisions to conserve the Boulder-White Clouds area. Unfortunately, for the past 10 years, every legislative attempt to safeguard the region has failed. Meanwhile, the area continues to be scarred by illegal motorized trails, reducing the area eligible for wilderness consideration.

“Therefore, we feel it is imperative to continue to encourage designation as a national monument to ensure permanent protection of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains as soon as possible.

“A Boulder-White Clouds monument is supported by a broad coalition—businesses, sportsmen, local communities, elected officials, conservation groups, and mountain bikers—that believes a monument is a faster and more certain way to guarantee that the area will be available to future generations to experience and enjoy.”

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