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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Our View

Let the debates begin

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson has quietly released a long-awaited outline of what a new Boulder White Clouds wilderness area might look like.

So understated was the outline’s release that it came without a map, which Simpson’s office has promised to deliver soon. A map is essential to understanding the outline, which calls for three separate wilderness areas that total 300,000 acres, circumscribed by roads and motorized trails.

Working without a good map puts the public at a severe disadvantage. Yet, Simpson has asked the public to comment in meetings scheduled to begin just a week from today.

Whether or not the plan will give the area’s trademark mountain goats and bighorn sheep enough quiet rock to cling to undoubtedly will be a subject that will stir heated discussion.

The Boulder and White Clouds Mountains have lain unprotected for far too long, neglected step-children compared to their siblings, the Sawtooth and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness areas.

Like moths in a wool sweater, the encroachments of man nibble away a little more of the area’s wild nature each year. Only public review can determine if Simpson’s plan will save the sweater.

The state’s wild heart is at stake. Let the debates begin.


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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.