Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monument advocates need to up their game

    The proposal for a presidential proclamation creating a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument suffers from a fatal flaw: It would accomplish little.
    At a Nov. 4 Stanley City Council meeting, monument advocates noted a presidential proclamation would define boundaries and general goals. And what about the actual terms of land protection? It would be the same old story: User groups slugging it out after the proclamation during a years-long process to develop a management plan.
    Those who filled the Stanley Community Library’s meeting room grew frustrated at the lack of specific detail for the 571,000-acre proposed monument. What would be managed for “wilderness values?” Where would mountain bikes be allowed? What about dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles?
    Representatives from the Wilderness Society, the Idaho Conservation League and Sportsmen for the Boulder White Clouds could not say. They described wish-list items they would fight to include in a management plan. But the takeaway from the Stanley meeting was a presidential proclamation wouldn’t settle anything. Most people who spoke (and many did) supported better land protection, but they wisely weren’t willing to bless a proposal that is impossible to evaluate.
    It doesn’t have to be this way. Presidential proclamations have addressed “motorized and mechanized” vehicles and other activities, use of particular roads, and management of specific areas within national monuments. A Boulder-White Clouds proclamation can clearly state the uses and management designations for different areas within a monument.
    Politically, it’s certainly more convenient for monument advocates to use feel-good goals to drum-up support. But it’s also lazy, and it poorly serves people who deeply care for the land and who want to meaningfully assess how a national monument would affect their communities.  
    Monument advocates need to up their game and propose a proclamation that tells people what will happen on the ground.
John Kelley
Sun Valley


About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

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.