Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boulder-White Clouds deserve monument status



    Many thanks to the Blaine County commissioners for expressing their unanimous support for the proposed Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. I appreciated their willingness to hold public hearings and listen to many voices on this issue. I attended the hearing last Wednesday, and the great majority of speakers were in favor of the monument designation. 
     A monument designation for the Boulder-White Clouds landscape would be a boon to the economy of the Wood River Valley and other nearby communities. Our local tourism dollars depend on this scenic backdrop. The management plan that would be crafted after the designation would allow input from the many constituencies that enjoy recreation in the Boulder-White Clouds, enabling us to write a plan that works best for Idaho.
     A monument designation would be great for conservation. It would enable the vast acreage that is not in the SNRA to be elevated to SNRA protection levels or higher, eliminating threats from mining, overgrazing and suboptimal ORV use. And the entire monument could be integrated into a single management plan, rather than current fragmented oversight.
     A Boulder-White Clouds Monument designation is a great opportunity to give our children and future generations a lasting gift of preserved irreplaceable beauty.
Elaine French
Ketchum

 




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