Letters From the West

Outdoor recreation groups back Boulder-White Clouds monument

A trail leads out of Little Casino Campground into the White Cloud Mountains, which gives you access to the backcountry from the comfort of base camp. (Idaho Statesman file photo by Pete Zimowsky)

A trail leads out of Little Casino Campground into the White Cloud Mountains, a part of the more than 300,000-acre Boulder-White Clouds area.(Idaho Statesman file photo by Pete Zimowsky)

A national coalition of mountain bikers, climbers, cross country skiers, whitewater boaters and paddlers have endorsed turning the Boulder-White Clouds into a national Monument.

The Outdoor Alliance is a national coalition, which includes the International Mountain Bike Association, and the Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Access Fund, which represents rock climbers, the American Canoe Association and the American Whitewater Association. The Wood River chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association already endorsed the measure that is being pushed by former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus, the Idaho Conservation League and the Wilderness Society.

The groups said protecting the area with continued access will improve the local economy. The issue has faded into the background lately with the government shutdown.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West