Let the debates begin
Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson has quietly
released a long-awaited outline of what a new Boulder White Clouds wilderness
area might look like.
So understated was the outline’s release
that it came without a map, which Simpson’s office has promised to deliver soon.
A map is essential to understanding the outline, which calls for three separate
wilderness areas that total 300,000 acres, circumscribed by roads and motorized
Working without a good map puts the public
at a severe disadvantage. Yet, Simpson has asked the public to comment in
meetings scheduled to begin just a week from today.
Whether or not the plan will give the
area’s trademark mountain goats and bighorn sheep enough quiet rock to cling to
undoubtedly will be a subject that will stir heated discussion.
The Boulder and White Clouds Mountains
have lain unprotected for far too long, neglected step-children compared to
their siblings, the Sawtooth and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
Like moths in a wool sweater, the
encroachments of man nibble away a little more of the area’s wild nature each
year. Only public review can determine if Simpson’s plan will save the sweater.
The state’s wild heart is at stake. Let
the debates begin.