Wednesday, February 12, 2014

National monument makes sense for Idaho

    Thanks to the Blaine County commissioners for coming out in support of a national monument designation for the Boulder-White Clouds. With over 90 percent of Idahoans placing Idaho’s natural environment as a highest-priority value, it seems a no-brainer to protect the largest unprotected pristine landscape in the lower 48 states.
    Undecided how you feel? Consider these points:

  • SNRA, Forest Service and BLM management would retain management jurisdiction, but operate under a combined management plan.
  • Hunting and fishing access would remain the same, managed by Idaho Fish & Game. There would be enhanced protection for big-game habitat.
  • Mountain biking and motorized would be determined by a travel management plan developed through public input.
  • CIEDRA proposed wilderness protection for 44 percent of the quarter of million acres at issue, but it has been trapped in permanent political deadlock. A national monument does not offer the degree of protection that wilderness designation offers, but provides a more comprehensive protection for 100 percent of this great landscape.
  • Who should be against a national monument? If you’re an out-of-state mining company wanting no restrictions on where or how you mine, this is not for you. But it works for the rest of us, and for Idaho.

Steve Mitchell
Sun Valley


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