Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monument could protect river systems

    Idahoans have been trying to identify the appropriate level of protection for the Boulder-White Clouds for over 50 years without success. National park designation was suggested and set aside. The western part of that territory was addressed in 1972 with the creation of the SNRA, but the eastern portion that includes the entire East Fork of the Salmon drainage was excluded.
    This entire area deserves national protection for its wilderness and biodiversity values. The East Fork is a major salmon and steelhead spawning drainage that has historically been treated as forage for livestock. The only protection granted these important stream segments has been through lawsuits. A half century has already been wasted without action. It is time for a new direction to protect this unique area. A Boulder-White Clouds National Monument proposal based on wilderness values will do just that.
Tom Blanchard

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