Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Time to protect the Boulder-White Clouds

    The Boulder-White Clouds mountain range is a natural work of art. The soaring peaks, pristine lakes and green valleys speak for themselves in elegant terms. They generate the pure water for four rivers that feed the Columbia River, the Northwest’s only water system.
    I am encouraged to see the effort to enhance protection for this spectacular ecosystem. This spine of the Rockies has been recommended for more protection for decades, and despite local community support and Rep. Mike Simpson’s legislative attempts, these efforts are being held hostage by the ideological schizophrenia of our Congress who can’t seem to pay our country’s bills (except their own salaries) with our money.
    At 500,000 acres, the Boulder-White Clouds are the last big under-protected expanse in the lower 48 states. There are now increasing discussions to have the area permanently protected as a Forest Service national monument. With the Jerry Peak addition, this proposal would conserve a complete ecosystem and outdoor recreational opportunities for all of us and greatly benefit our local economy.
    There is room for all users of this place: wildlife, grazing and foot, horse, bike, sail and motorized visitors. The proposed national monument designation can enable rational management and real protection for this great area and ensure wise use and enjoyment for all who appreciate it. Let’s get informed, get involved and get it done.
Alan Reynolds

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