Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Boulder-White Clouds deserve special status


    I attended the County Commission meeting about the national monument and I was disturbed by many of the comments I heard. A lot of people spoke out on behalf of narrow personal agendas with little or no thought to the future. That being said, one common theme among everyone that commented was that they want to “keep things the way they are for future generations.”
    The best way to do this is with a national monument designation. I am a mountain biker, guide, hunter and motorized user and I come from a family with mining roots. I know that there is a time and place for all of these activities and I have personally seen what happens to beautiful areas that I love but don’t have a cohesive management plan in place, and it never ends well. During the meeting, many members of the Sawtooth Society spoke out against a monument. This is strange coming from a group that calls themselves conservationist. Another point that I found interesting is that their founder Bethine Church wholeheartedly (and publicly) supported a monument overlapping the SNRA. Many national monuments contain national recreation areas already, and for good reason. The overlap allows for a cohesive management plan that unites the entire landscape.
    Designating the Boulder-White Clouds a national monument allows for flexibility to accommodate multiple user groups—from mountain bikers to motorized users to ranchers and farmers—while protecting what we all love from further degradation and resource extraction. If everyone can take a step back from their narrow personal interest and give a little on both ends, we have an opportunity to preserve what we currently have for us, as well as future generations.
    Thank you to those of you working to preserve the Boulder-White Clouds as a national monument.
Steve Southard
Ketchum

 




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