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  1. #1
    the new Gilbert Grape
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    Boulder-White Clouds National Monument

    I ran across a page on the Idaho Conservation League about a renewed effort to change the designation of the Boulder-White Clouds - this time to a National Monument.

    Idaho Conservation League

    I don't see a lot of information on how this would impact biking in the area. Anyone know the scoop?
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  2. #2
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    Seems they are dancing around their intentions of which trails they would want closed, but in general trail status would remain the same. What they say to get support and the true intentions in the final language of a monument designation are not being stated as far as I can tell. http://www.idahoconservation.org/iss...sked-questions

  3. #3
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    Here are some links to some recent articles about the ICL Monument Plan and CIEDRA info...


    IMBA CIEDRA PLI info.

    I know that members of the Wood River Bike Coalition are working w/ ICL to come up w/ a plan that allows MTB.

  4. #4
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    Divide and Conquer. First comes national monument and then next it will be national park. The ICL will work to ban bikes from the heart of the Whiteclouds and a National Monument gives them a chance to during the trail designation process after the monument is created. There is no threat to the Whiteclouds and it is protected by the Idaho Roadless Rule and the SNRA designation.
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  5. #5
    jalepenio jimenez
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    a feather in their cap and a fork in our arse. it's just as smilycook says:

    A new plan to protect high country
    ICL supports making Boulder-White Clouds a national monument
    By GREG MOORE
    Express Staff Writer - Idaho Montain Express May 1, 2013

    After waiting for more than seven years while a Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill remained stagnated in Congress, the Idaho Conservation League has adopted a new tactic toward protecting the mountainous area north of Ketchum—designation as a national monument.
    Unlike national parks, which can only be created by Congress, national monuments are designated by the president under the Antiquities Act.
    In early April, ICL Executive Director Rick Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss the idea with members of the Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the president on environmental issues, and the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service.
    “There’s no [political] cost to the administration to do it,” Johnson said in an interview last week.
    Much of the area covered by the Boulder and White Cloud mountains—on the east side of state Highway 75 between Ketchum and Stanley—is included in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. That designation protects it from development that would substantially impair its scenic and recreational values. However, many conservationists have feared an expansion of motorized recreational use in the area, and have advocated wilderness designation to prevent that.
    In 2005, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, introduced his Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, which would protect part of the area as wilderness while allowing most existing motorized use and providing economic benefits to Custer County. However, the bill has never made it out of Congress, due partly to opposition from Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Gov. Butch Otter.
    A Boulder-White Clouds National Monument is not a new idea. A proposed designation order was drafted by then-Secretary of the Interior and former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne in 2008, though it was never presented to President George W. Bush for approval.
    The idea was resurrected in July 2010 by former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus—also a former secretary of the Interior—in a letter to President Barack Obama.
    “Long-term protection of the Boulder-White Clouds area in central Idaho is best arrived at by the kind of process Rep. Simpson has championed for ten years,” Andrus wrote. “I support his approach, but reluctantly concede that some will never embrace real collaboration and will instead opt for delay and no decision. …
    “I would respectfully request that you instruct the appropriate federal agencies to place the Boulder-White Clouds area on the list for consideration for National Monument status.”
    Johnson said designation as a national monument would provide several benefits over the area’s current status as a national recreation area:
    Potential expansion of the protected area.
    The likelihood of more federal funding.
    A higher public profile, which would boost tourism.
    The opportunity to prohibit expansion of motorized use.
    Specific management directives for a national monument would be decided by the Interior Department.
    Though the Antiquities Act was passed in 1906 primarily to protect archeological sites, it was used almost immediately to protect much larger areas, including the Grand Canyon, designated as a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The act’s use has sometimes been controversial, most notably when President Bill Clinton designated the vast Escalante National Monument in 1996 with less than 24 hours notice to Utah politicians, most of whom opposed restrictions on use of the land there.
    Johnson said he wants to avoid that sort of controversy around a potential Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. He said he hopes all interested parties become involved in the process, and emphasized that the ICL will not pursue the most restrictive regulations possible.
    “I believe that this has to complement Idaho’s conservative values if it is to endure,” he said. “I want to protect something that generations of Idahoans will be fantastically proud to live beside—I don’t want them to resent it.”
    He said that would have to include continued hunting in the area.
    Several bills have recently been introduced in Congress to eliminate or restrict the authority of a president to designate new national monuments, including one by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. To be made law, any such bill would need to be signed by the president or obtain the support of two-thirds of Congress to override a presidential veto.
    An inquiry to the White House press office regarding the proposal’s status was not returned by press deadline Tuesday.
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  6. #6
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    I asked the ICL "What is so horrible about mountain bikers responsibly enjoying the White Clouds?"

    They responded "A national monument is wonderful opportunity for balancing recreational interests. Many mountain bikers are very supportive."

    Not really easing my concern at all. It was a good opportunity to say flat out they won't be seeking to remove us from the area. I will fight the National Monument designation anyway I am able to.

  7. #7
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    The ICL is just flat out anti anything they don't do. Nor do they want you to do anything but hike or raft.

  8. #8
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
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    I wouldn't fight a national monument designnation.....I would work to make sure it allowed bikes. If a remember correctly, I read at least one that was written to allow MTB use.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  9. #9
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    Here is their FAQ:

    http://www.idahoconservation.org/iss...sked-questions

    Note that about 2/3 of the way down it says:

    Who Decides What Type of Recreation Is Allowed and Which Trails
    Remain Open?

    National monument designation usually allows those uses that already exist in an area—such as mountain biking or driving motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails—to continue except where specifically called out in the proclamation or required to protect key resources in the national monument.
    I call attention to the emphasis they use - I attempted to repeat it. I'm sure there are details buried in the proposals that can be interpreted as troubling by anybody with at least a 5th grade education.

    But at least they give you the benefit of the reach-around.

    They are nice guys so far as humans go and I like some of them in person.
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  10. #10
    jalepenio jimenez
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    ...to be named after the Republican party's patron saint - the "Ronald Reagan Boulder-Whitecloud National Monument" - in another step to name the world after him...
    The Ronald Wilson Reagan Economic Breathing Zone - The Colbert Report - 2013-08-08 - Video Clip | Comedy Central
    or not...
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  11. #11
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    Without opening a can o political worms and to be clear. I pretty much always support what the ICL does. But since they aren't being clear, I won't take my chances jumping in on this. If it happens and nothing changes for mountain bikers, sweet. I don't personally feel it's worth the risk to lose such an awesome place. I've backpacked in there multiple times and climbed those peaks (which I feel has a greater impact on the area). But there is something special about being able to ride a bike in a place like that.

    That wording doesn't sound like un-changed trail designation to me.

  12. #12
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    From what I have heard, ICL has informally stated that they are basically willing to support a post-designation trail use plan that would allow mountain bikers access to the same trails in the BWC on which bikes would have been permitted if CIEDRA had passed, which means some of the more epic type rides would be out. If I remember correctly, CIEDRA would have closed the 4th of July to Ants Basin to Warm Springs meadow route, Warm Springs to Robinson Bar, Castle Peak and others.

    WRBC has been involved in this NM issue with ICL from the start, but it seems like ICL is wiggling on the whole biking issue. From what I can gather through the grapevine, I think the ICL is coming to the conclusion that on issues like this they will need the support and cooperation of the mountain biking community, but some of their long time wealthier donors and supporters aren't on board with that idea. Money talks.

  13. #13
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    You just can't trust the ICL. There one goal is to kick bikes out of the BWC.
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  14. #14
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    Oppose it...it can only mean more bureaucrats making rules at the behest of the hiker groups. Consider Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument as an example: No MTB except on roads, and no new trails or other development of any kind, ever. Cattle grazing in the desert, though? Oh, that's fine.

  15. #15
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    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, trust no one, don't write like a 3rd grader, always be a throttle-twisters' btich, and always be a drama queen.

    Words to live by.

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  16. #16
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    Boulder-White Clouds National Monument

    Latest from the ICL:

    "...Part of the challenge for ICL is to recognize that protections as a monument will not be the same or as strong as our long-sought wilderness designation would be. In this rethinking of how we move forward, we are working with the mountain biking community on how we protect both world-class biking and the wilderness experience on foot...."

    Bikes, Backpacks and the Boulder-White Clouds ? Idaho Conservation League

    What I fear will happen is that the ICL will work with all user groups to enact the NM. Then after designation, they will fight to get a management plan as close to Wilderness as possible. The best thing that could happen is that an agreed upon management plan gets created before designation takes place.
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  17. #17
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    If you believe what smilycook writes, then my suggestion to you is to call your Senator or Representative. You will likely find a sympathetic ear that won't do a thing for you. Just look at how far the Wilderness bill has gone after more than 10 years in Congress. If you want to get something done and have a say, now's the time to connect with the folks at ICL and/or the Wood River Mountain Bike Coalition and let them know what trails are important to you and why.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt View Post
    If you believe what smilycook writes, then my suggestion to you is to call your Senator or Representative. You will likely find a sympathetic ear that won't do a thing for you. Just look at how far the Wilderness bill has gone after more than 10 years in Congress. If you want to get something done and have a say, now's the time to connect with the folks at ICL and/or the Wood River Mountain Bike Coalition and let them know what trails are important to you and why.
    What are we protecting this area from? Timber harvest? Mining? There is no threat to the area. The only thing a National Monument will do is close trails to bikes.

    Since this area is already protected by the Idaho Roadless Rule and an SNRA designation the National Monument is a waste of time. Just leave it alone. A National Monument will give the ICL a chance to close trails plain and simple. There goal is to implement the same trail closures that they wanted to see in the Wilderness Bill.

    CIEDRA could not pass on its own and never will, but ICL will just not leave this area alone. Why not take all of the money they have spent over the years and buy out grazing allotments. Cows have more impact than 1000s of bikers.

    ICL has large donors that don't want bikes in the WhiteClouds. It has never been about saving Bambi or keeping the area pristine. If you are happy with just riding the Fischer/Williams Loop then by all means you can work with ICL.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks Smily. I am pretty sure you are right. I do know that IMBA is working with the Wood River Coalition and the ICL on this issue. I talked to our PNW IMBA rep, Anna Laxague, about this over the weekend. The in-house public policy/ attorney Jeremy is all over it, even with keeping ALL trails open to bikes. Be worth trying to connect with her or Jeremy to express your concerns.

  20. #20
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    Smilycook wants to continue to be able to ride his motorcycle wherever he wants, and that's his real issue with the potential for trail closures, and that is the real "threat" to this area, in my opinion.

  21. #21
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    Would really like to do the Big Boulder/Little Boulder loop sometime. Actually had camp set up at bottom of Big Boulder road 3 weeks ago on Friday afternoon the 9th; within a half hour of unpacking our stuff and getting settled in a wall of smoke and ash enveloped us and we retreated to the Salmon area where we found a nice ride on the CDT.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt View Post
    Smilycook wants to continue to be able to ride his motorcycle wherever he wants, and that's his real issue with the potential for trail closures, and that is the real "threat" to this area, in my opinion.
    Matt, I don't even own a motorcycle any more so it would be really hard for me to ride one.

    I do want to be able to ride my mountain bike on all of the trails in the Whiteclouds even if they involve some hike-a-biking. My biking is not harming the land in the Whiteclouds at all and the wildlife does not mind me being there either. There are countless miles of bike free trails in the Frank Church and Sawtooth Wilderness areas so I would suggest you go there instead.
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  23. #23
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    Chris, nowhere did I say that I don't support mountain biking in the white clouds. I challenge your criticism and characterization of ICL, but I won't change your mind on that. Glad you ditched the moto. Agree the mtn biking has minimal impact, too. So we're closer on this that you might have assumed...

  24. #24
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
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    Good things are happening in Salmon thanks to a core group. Glad you had a good time!
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  25. #25
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt View Post
    Smilycook wants to continue to be able to ride his motorcycle wherever he wants, and that's his real issue with the potential for trail closures, and that is the real "threat" to this area, in my opinion.
    since you bring up motos, I'll invoke the latest from the past president of the Idaho Blue Ribbon Coalition and off-road advocate, Bill Dart, who is opposed to the National Monument status for pretty much the same reason we are.

    to quote Bill...

    "I think it is total BULL$HIT...

    On the downside, if it were to come to be, it would actually be worse than the Wilderness proposal. At least, that bill left Germania, the Frog Lake Loop, Washington Lake, The Casino's, Williams, Marten, Railroad Ridge, open, through negotiated concessions from Simpson. A National Monument would not be bound to those concessions and everything could be closed. Normally, all trails are closed to motorized and mechanized use in a National Monument, as well as cross country snowmobile use.

    On the positive side, Obama has a lot more serious issues on his plate, and I am optimistic the proposal will go nowhere. There are lots of National Monument proposals out there, but Obama hasn't done much. Risch is hard core opposed and our best friend. Otter has no DC juice. Crapo is not as strong an ally, but, he has no enthusiasm for the concept either. The bill won't go anywhere, and I don't think Obama will do the Nat Mon end run"

    Happy Trails,
    Bill

    I agree with Bill that our governor and Risch are both opposed, and that means alot in the big picture. hadn't heard that Crapo was opposed, but that is more ammo for our side...the more big guns, the better chance the initiative won't succeed.

    still won't hurt to write your legislators and express your concerns to them.
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

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