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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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For the week of June 26 - July 2, 2002

Opinion Column

Boulder-White Cloud wilderness designation overdue

Guest Opinion by LATHAN WILLIAMS


Protection of the Boulder and White Cloud mountains with a Wilderness Designation is long overdue and may soon be a reality. The Boulder-White Clouds encompass an area of more than 500,000 acres, and is the largest piece of unroaded and unprotected federal land south of Alaska.

If youíve hiked to Ryan Peak, backpacked to Castle Peak, or camped at Herd Lake, youíve experienced the Boulder-White Cloud wilderness area.

Pressure on the natural beauty, wildlife systems, and solitude of the Boulder-White Clouds is increasing in a world where the technology of motorized travel is improving. ATVs and snowmobiles operate higher, go faster, and travel farther than they have in the past. The perimeter of the Boulder-White Clouds will still provide opportunities for recreation by these uses, but the core of the mountains will be protected for activities that include horse packing, hiking, fishing, backpacking, cross country skiing and mountaineering.

The Bolder-White Cloud Wilderness Area has been carefully designated to protect what exists today. Existing roads will remain, and youíll still be able to drive out the North Fork of the Big Lost over Trail Creek Summit, out Pole Creek and Forth of July Roads in the Sawtooth Valley, and up East Fork Salmon River Road outside Clayton all the way up to the Bowery Guard Station. Itís a good compromise that ensures access but protects wilderness.

Last week, the City of Sun Valley joined Hailey and Blaine County in calling for federal preservation of the Boulder-White Clouds. Tom Pomeroy, board member of the Idaho Conservation League, described the support of the City of Sun Valley as "critical" to the successful designation of this wilderness area. With that support in hand, itís time to protect the Boulder-White Clouds, protecting them, not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of all generations to follow.

Latham Williams is president of the Sun Valley City Council and vice-chairman of the Idaho State Republican Party.

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.