An article from Fridays Paper on the Boulder-Whiteclouds- Mtbr.com
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    An article from Fridays Paper on the Boulder-Whiteclouds

    Idaho Statesman

    Survey: Many locals oppose wilderness in Boulder-White Clouds Mountains

    But Rep. Mike Simpson and a Custer County official say the results are skewed.
    A recreation group opposing wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains says a survey points to overwhelming local opposition to Congressman Mike Simpson's bill that would designate 312,000 acres near Stanley as wilderness.
    Simpson and a Custer County commissioner disputed the results of the survey and said it was part of an opposition campaign led by the group.

    The Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act passed the House last year but was not voted on in the Senate. It is currently in a congressional committee, and Simpson expects to have a hearing on it in September.

    The Idaho Recreation Council, a group of motorcyclists, snowmobilers, mountain bikers and other recreationists, commissioned the national polling firm Tarrance Group to do a random survey of 400 citizens in Custer and Lemhi counties. The council released the results Thursday in Boise.

    The 13-question survey twice asked people what they thought about the wilderness bill. In the first response, 71 percent were in opposition and 14 percent in favor, with the remainder unsure. When asked again in the final question of the survey, 83 percent were opposed and 10 percent in favor.

    Asking a question in a survey, providing information and then repeating it again is a "standard issue-based survey," said John Watts, a partner at Veritas Advisors of Boise, which conducts public opinion research.

    Chris Cook, spokesman for the Idaho Recreation Council, said the survey shows that Simpson can't "hide behind the idea that there's local support."

    "Congressman Simpson has stated that he has support at the local level for this legislation," Cook said. "Yet one of the most substantial pieces of research ever done in the region by one of the best pollsters in the country shows that the local community opposes the bill or any other wilderness designation in their counties."

    But Simpson and Custer County Commissioner Wayne Butts of Challis said the poll is part of a media campaign to spread misinformation and drum up opposition to the bill.

    "I call B.S., because they were misled," Butts said.

    The poll followed several weeks of radio and newspaper advertisements in the area that opposed the bill, as well as a postcard campaign that asked residents to contact their county commissioners, Butts said.

    Simpson said the polling was done to gauge the effectiveness of the advertising campaign as much as to gauge public opinion.

    "I think it will have very little impact on the larger debate," Simpson said. "You can drive the message however you want to drive it and get the results you want to get. They've done this very effectively over the last few weeks."

    Simpson said he's found different opinions while talking to people in Custer County.

    "I've done something they (the pollsters) haven't done. I've gone up there and had town hall meetings," he said.

    Lots of people oppose certain items in the bill, Simpson said, but most were supportive of doing something to resolve the debate.

    Butts said he thinks there's already enough wilderness in Idaho, but he supports CIEDRA as a way to increase Custer County's tax base, which includes over 95 percent public lands. Converting some of the land to private property would increase the county's tax base.

    "I'm still standing my ground," he said. "I'm up for election, and I am not concerned (about getting voted out of office)."

    Cook counters that people in the area don't want a wilderness designation for the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains.

    "The people who are most affected by this bill, the citizens of Custer and Lemhi counties, have spoken very clearly that they don't want more wilderness in their backyard," Cook said.

    Butts said he talked with several people who sent him postcards opposing CIEDRA, and they changed their opinions when they got more information.

    "There's a lot of things people haven't done their homework on," he said.

    Butts also questioned why polling was done in Custer and Lemhi counties rather than Custer and Blaine counties, which he said are the only two counties that border the proposed wilderness.

    Blaine County, home to Sun Valley and among the most heavily Democratic counties in the state, would have likely changed the outcome of the poll, he said.

    Adena Cook of Idaho Falls (no relation to Chris Cook) said Lemhi and Custer counties were selected because they have "similar customs, cultures and demographics."

    Chris Cook added that the econ-omies of those two counties would be most affected if CIEDRA becomes law.

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    thanks for all your hard work chris.

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    Thanks for the update Chris. I really hope that the bill doesn't make it through Congress. Losing mountain bike access to the Boulder-White Clouds would be a huge negative for recreational users in the state.
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    There is some great riding to be affected. I'm just not sure who to contact that would help.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
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    Oh please!

    Chris,

    Your passion for the sport and willingness to support mountain biking should be commended. However, back handed antics and B.S. approaches like the one used to poll Custer and Lemi County really bring into question the ethics and credibility of mountain bikers. It’s about like the trick Carl Rowe pulled on John McCain in the racist south asking if people would vote for someone that had fathered a black child.

    Is the Idaho Recreation Council synonymous with the Blue Ribbon Coalition? Is the IRC just a front for the extractive industry? Are mountain bikers being used as pawns because they are too stupid to represent themselves? After what I have just seen at Trailapolooza and witnessed over the last year, I don’t think we need to stand behind the motorized community and ask for crumbs.

    A quick Google search pulled this little gem up..

    The Idaho Recreation Council is holding an important press conference tomorrow and from the sounds of it every single snowmobile who can make it should show up.
    The press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. at Fort Boise Park in Boise, ID. It’s recommended you be there about 15 minutes early.
    We don’t know many of the details but we do know it has to do with Rep. Mike Simpson’s Wilderness proposal for the Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho.
    Adena Cook of the Blue Ribbon Coalition said, “We worked all media hard in Custer and Lemhi County, took the poll and the results are in. An overwhelming majority of respondents opposed CIEDRA and the poll was designed and done by one of the best firms available. I'm sure you want to know more, but we're holding off any information until the press conference and briefing session.”
    If you need any additional information about CIEDRA, see SAWS’ previous alerts:
    http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/u...s_Proposal.htm
    http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/u...s_Proposal.htm


    At best, the poll shows the ad campaign may have been effective. But it doesn’t show the people of the United States opinion on the issue and doesn’t even show the people of Idaho’s opinion on the topic.

    This is a topic I have very mixed emotions and get frustrated by the mountain bike community wanting to hold hands with the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the motorized community. Does that mean we think it is a good idea for ATVs to continue gaining more access and destroying single track? Do we want the White Clouds to look like Sinker Creek this spring? That’s what the ATV and some of the motorized want.

    And it’s not just ATVs. Each year the snowmobiles seem to be getting more powerful and it is harder and harder to find areas to backcountry ski that haven’t been chewed up with high marks. If it was just motorcycles, I won’t mind. If it were just motorcycles and snowmobiles I won’t be happy but I wouldn’t be disgusted like I am about the prospects of opening up the White Clouds to ATVs and the back door for the extractive industry.

    If mountain bikers want to stand as one and work to include a swath from Fisher Creek to Warm Springs as biker access into the Wilderness, I would be all for it. But if it means holding hands with the Blue Ribbon Coalition and supporting ATV access and the end of the Wilderness initiative, well give me Wilderness.

    If you question what I am talking about go ride Bench Creek in the Sawtooths and then let us know what you think.

    The bottom line is Chris this was beneath you. This is something I would expect from the Turd Blossom. Come on you have done to much good to stoop this direction.

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    No backdoor

    The IRC is not a backdoor for the extractive industry nor does it support ATVs widening singletrack trails. Let’s not forget that the whiteclouds are already protected by a National Recreation Area designation. The environmental organizations in this state have no real interest in accommodating mountain bikers and if they had it their way we would be loosing miles upon miles every year. Look at what is happening in Montana with the environmental groups trying to ban mountain bikes from thousands of miles of exist trails.

    I have called the Salmon Challis National Forest over a number of years to try and get them to do something about bench creek and also swamp creek with no luck. Maybe this year will be different especially since there are travel plan documents showing that only motorcycles will be allowed on Bench and Swamp. Maybe this time I will offer to go install post to deter ATV usage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    Chris,
    It’s about like the trick Carl Rowe pulled on John McCain in the racist south asking if people would vote for someone that had fathered a black child.
    have you ever been to the dirty "racist" south?

    always great to have outsiders (as we call 'em...yankees) act like their region is not prejudice and put down the south. i've seen plenty of racism in lily-white idaho. maybe not from the liberal/socialist northend boise crowd. but, get out into real idaho...or anywhere else...and i've seen/heard it.

    funniest thing is..they've never experienced any diversity or races/cultures and yet they're prejudice.

    good life lesson. fly into ATL, and take a ride on the MARTA.

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    Cracklins! Yum

    mmmmm. southern food.

    I once didn't get served for an hour. I never at the place again. Geez. The service was awful.

    Back to the topic.

    Ack. The CIEDRA. Part of me wishes a compromise could be reached. The other part says"Hell Al, your talking to yourself...and you don't even drive enough to go anywhere much less the White Clouds." The area needs a document based on negotiated compromise and some good accounting. I'd love to...but geez I could never make it to the meetings.

    The Canadians have corridors through the Chilcotins that allow certain uses. Thank the Lord 'cause I want to vacation there. But convince both parties. Ack. No fun there.

    Compromise. I really like that word.

    Random thoughts from Al are now officially over. Pray for the delivery of my 29er. I am.
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    I also desire compromise. But how is the question?
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    It takes a bunch of time and even more patience. A 3rd party, like the NPS, to help foster the compromise is best. One of the first things to do is to get both sides, MTB community and environmental groups that want full closure, to concede that they want to protect the area from A through Z parties. Next then is to have everyone agree that there will be differences, and then you work through what both sides are willing to live with while still achieving the primary goal. The last part is writing the agreements and working through the "how are we going to achieve" what we just compromised one.

    It is really time consuming, and the person proctoring the meetings has to have a very strong, assertive, yet calming demeanor. The interested parties need to trust each other and remember that they are working together as a community to enjoy AND protect what they love.
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    Al, We tried having a third party get involved and had lined up REI a number of years ago, but the enviromental groups would not even show up with REI as a moderator so that ended that compromise session before it even began. I thought it was a great idea, but it got nowhere.
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    Bringing REI to the table is like bringing WalMart in to moderate a discussion on urban sprawl.

    Bad call.

    I don't have the answer but the 3rd party shouldn't have a dog in the fight and should be trusted by all parties to hold the money.
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    That is unfortunate..but honestly that, the moderator, is then your first hurdle. Who were the parties involved. I am curious who would be so unwilling to compromise. I am even more curious as to the reasons why.

    It is really a painful process...developing that whole trust thing, but the pay off is really worth it.
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    The Blue Ribbon Coalition has slaughtered the single track in parts of South East Idaho by allowing and developing trrails for ATV's. I would hope that Mtn. Bikers will not side with them. Are there any other alternative groups(with #'s) who have a voice here? It doesn't sound like either side of the arguement is worth siding with. I have camped in the area for killer hike a bikes for the past ten years, and would give up my access if it means that ATV's will be allowed. Dirt bikers are fine, but the Blue Ribbon Coalition is not helping them. I wish they had a better group to represent them.
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    A neighbor of mine is an associate at a well-placed environmental advocacy group in Boise. It is unfortunate but he's told me off the record that they do not trust mountain bikers because they feel they are in bed with motorized interests. They especially do not trust SWIMBA - mostly because of some op ed history that misrepresented SWIMBA's position (or lack thereof).

    Whether it's true or not is irrelevant - it is the perception that is keeping them from showing up with any heart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    And it’s not just ATVs. Each year the snowmobiles seem to be getting more powerful and it is harder and harder to find areas to backcountry ski that haven’t been chewed up with high marks. If it was just motorcycles, I won’t mind. If it were just motorcycles and snowmobiles I won’t be happy but I wouldn’t be disgusted like I am about the prospects of opening up the White Clouds to ATVs and the back door for the extractive industry.

    If mountain bikers want to stand as one and work to include a swath from Fisher Creek to Warm Springs as biker access into the Wilderness, I would be all for it. But if it means holding hands with the Blue Ribbon Coalition and supporting ATV access and the end of the Wilderness initiative, well give me Wilderness.
    i am a Blue Ribbon Coalition Member, and a pretty active one, and I am unaware of any proposal anywhere to increase atv access in the boulder-white clouds. We are simply trying to keep existing motorcycle access to grand prize gulch and 4th of july, which have been responsibly and sustainably used by motorcycles and mountain bikes for decades.

    the Wilderness Jihad frequently uses the bogeyman of renegade ATV's to scare people and build support for extreme and unnecessary wilderness proposals, and the Boulder-Whiteclouds are a good example of such a proposal. The only reason that proposal even exists is to throw a bone to the extremists in hopes that they'll overlook the public land giveaways just to gain a few more of the virgins in heaven they apparently get for each acre of designated wilderness, regardless of whether it meets the qualifications for wilderness.

    The BRC doesn't believe in universal ATV access, or opening existing non-motorized areas to ATV use. There are some places where they think individual trails should be widened, mostly to connect loop opportunities for ATV riders. I think that idea sucks, but i think it sucks less than wilderness designations that close trails that have longstanding motorized and/or mechanized use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    That is unfortunate..but honestly that, the moderator, is then your first hurdle. Who were the parties involved. I am curious who would be so unwilling to compromise. I am even more curious as to the reasons why.

    It is really a painful process...developing that whole trust thing, but the pay off is really worth it.
    Al, I think REI would have done an excellent moderator job since they have done it a couple of times in California and in Oregon.

    We had tried to get people from the ICL and the Wilderness society to sit down and discuss options for the Boulder-Whiteclouds. At that time it would have been John McCarthy and two other people whose names escape me at the moment. Maybe Suki Molina or Rachael Winer.

    I have thought about trying to get the groups toegther again.

    On the whole trust issue I find this very ironic since they have been spreading a number of rumors among land owners about mountain bikers that are not true to try and win favor in meetings. When the mud starts flying neither side is truely innocent

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    Another view and some questions

    Not everyone who mountain bikes is against wilderness. For some of us, protection of land from extractive industries, development, and other damage is a higher priority than our own selfish interests. There are many members of SWIMBA who would drop our memberships in a second if SWIMBA takes a stand against wilderness.

    Is Mr. Cook still on the Board of the Blue Ribbon Coalition? Is he perhaps the one who wrote op-ed pieces against wilderness while he was president of SWIMBA? Did he build illegal trails and are we to thank him for this "hard work"? Why didn't they poll Blaine County, which is also adjacent to the Boulder-White Clouds? Were they afraid they might find overwhelming support for wilderness there, even among mountain bikers?

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    Too wordy! I warned you.

    Boy kick the ant nest and look what happens. One topic at a time.
    Do I think Idaho has rascist tendencies – dah! Just because Reverend Butler’s compound is no more, the “Whities” of Idaho haven’t gone away. And yes I have been to Atlanta - the City that names everything peach. The food was spectacular, the people friendly and the beer anything but peaches. I did find one brew house and had a marvelous evening chatting with the brew master and drinking every beer they had on tap.

    The intent of my e-mail was to drive home the point that mountain bikers do themselves a disservice by letting organizations like the BRC represent their interests. The BRC’s approach to the White Clouds is to just say no!
    They do propose a new “Back Country” designation to protect areas with a “Wilderness” type setting. So what is a “Back Country Designation.”

    BACKCOUNTRY DESIGNATION
    (http://sharetrails.org/backc.html)
    “The BlueRibbon Coalition supports the establishment of Congressionally designated backcountry where motorized use can co-exist with mountain bicycles and other recreational uses as well as other management activities while still preserving the backcountry character of the landscape. One major attraction for OHV enthusiasts, and others, to public lands is the primitive, backcountry character of much of these lands. The BlueRibbon Coalition supports the preservation of this backcountry character, where it exists, and supports continued motorized access into these areas. The Forest Service planning process is a dynamic and transient process; therefore congressional designation is needed to preserve these areas.”

    Since they used the term OHV instead of motorcycles one is lead to believe the BRC, “supports the preservation of this back country character, where it exists and supports continued motorized access in these areas” which would include ATVs. If not, why not expressly say motorcycles. BRC is there to represent all of their constituents which includes ATVs. It would be naive to think the BRC isn’t representing ATVs.

    An interview by Jon Christenson aired on public TV on January 5, 2007 gives a better perspective of the ATV thoughts. I think the following excert from the dialogue shows where ATVers stand on the issue.

    CHRISTENSEN: In addition to the motorized trails that loop through the wilderness area, the compromise bill sets up this special Boulder White Clouds management area—more than 500,000 acres encircling the wilderness—where existing motorized trails would remain open.

    KING: And with this bill look at this map and you see, all these surrounding things are motorized trails. No matter where you are, you're gonna hear wing, wing, wing.

    JONES: In my personal opinion, Idaho has enough wilderness areas.

    CHRISTENSEN: ATV rider Bill Jones is president of the Idaho All Terrain Vehicle Association.

    JONES: Idaho ATV Association Jones : When you make a wilderness area, that turns that area into a land of no use. The people then can't drive a vehicle into it to go enjoy it. They go to a, quote, trail had and then they hike.

    CHRISTENSEN: The sound of this conflict—over motorized vehicles in wild places—has echoed through the wilderness debate from its beginning between the First and Second World Wars.

    In the 1920s and 30s, thousands of miles of new roads were being built into the most beautiful and untouched places in the country—to encourage tourism in the newly created National Parks—and soon concerns began to grow that all those tourists might love these lands to death.

    But it wasn't until 1964 that the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson—eight years after it was first introduced. The law itself, is a compromise—it allows grazing to continue, and mining claims and the use of motorboats and airplanes are grandfathered in to many wilderness areas...

    JONES: Want to go for a ride?

    CHRISTENSEN: In the past 40 years, a new beast has appeared on the landscape—off road vehicles capable of reaching the most remote places.

    These vehicles didn't exist when the original law was written. Today legislators trying to protect wilderness can't ignore them.

    JONES: We started out five years ago with 18,000 ATVs in Idaho; now there's118,000 registered ATVs.

    CHRISTENSEN: Jones's estimate doesn't even include the motorcycles, and snow mobiles whose owners also want to ride deep into the back country.

    JONES: These people have gotta have a place to go play, Unless we provide a trail for 'em to ride, they're gonna go create their own trails. I'd rather have education than enforcement.

    CHRISTENSEN: Although the bill tries to balance the interests of both wilderness supporters and opponents ... these riders aren't buying it. They don't want any trails into the Boulder White Clouds shut down.

    JONES: We happen to like it outdoors. The greenies, as we call 'em hate to see us have fun.

    CHRISTENSEN: Competing interests like these have kept this land in limbo for 30 years -with none of the land permanently protected as wilderness.

    So we have Carol King that is uncompromising on the issue. We have the Blue Ribbon Coalition that is following Nancy Reagon’s approach of just stay “No.” And we have the ATV crowd that is growing fatter by the day in numbers. You also have Chris Cook claiming to represent mountain bikers through the Idaho Recreation something or another that really smacks of the Blue Ribbon Coalition.

    So my question is, why would Congressman Mike Simpson or any of the conservation group want to work with Chris or any mountain biker? So far they conservationists and Simpson have been giving to the Mtn and haven’t received much from the mountain bike community!

    So what have the mountain bikers got’n out of the deal so far. Well if you look at the maps, we have kept Fisher Creek the area most heavily traveled by mountain bikers. The Big and Little Casino loop is still open and also includes Warms Springs Meadow and connects via Martin Creek. Big Boulder, Little Boulder including Frog Lake is still included. Off the Pole Creek road, Germania Creek is even a corridor dividing the Wilderness areas and open to both bikes and motorized use. But the motorized community is unwilling to compromise and wants Grand Prize Gulch (trail 112) just over the ridge from Germania Creek. See map 9
    http://www.house.gov/simpson/ciedra_maps.shtml

    So what is left on the table for bikers? The plan doesn’t include Warm Springs to Robinson Bar and Ants to Born Lakes is off the table. Is Ants Basin really a bike ride or more of a hike you take your bike on? I know it is fun but is it really a ride? If you want to see Ants basin you can still ride into Warm Springs and hike up toward Born Lakes or leave the bike at home.

    To me the only lose is Warm Springs. Had the mountain bike community got their crap together maybe we could have negotiated this one as a bike only route but hey we held hands with BRC and have no credibility. Yeh we still do but sometimes I can’t stand waking by the ant pile and giving it just one more kick. I think as a group we started to gain some credibility with Federal Land Mangers with the Stack Rock issues. We still have along way to go with the conservation community.

    So why do we need the conservation community. Because there is more Wilderness being proposed in Montana, Wyoming etc. and we need to show we can work together and not just say no and our word means something. The Boulder White Clouds is a perfect place to work together and develop a process of give and take that can be copied else where.

    Since you suffered through this long e-mail, I will try and post some pictures of Fisher/Warm Springs/Martin to Boundry. Not one I would do again in that direction on my bike.

  20. #20
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    Is Mr. Cook still on the Board of the Blue Ribbon Coalition? Yes.

    Is he perhaps the one who wrote op-ed pieces against wilderness while he was president of SWIMBA?
    Yes, I never stated that those were the veiws of SWIMBA just personal veiws.

    Did he build illegal trails and are we to thank him for this "hard work"?
    I have never built an illegal trail.

    Why didn't they poll Blaine County, which is also adjacent to the Boulder-White Clouds?
    Congressmen Simpson claims to have local support in Custer County so the purpose of the poll was to guage the level of support in the county he claims he has the support of. All of the economic development money is going to custer and lemhi counties. CIEDRAs plan is to provide economic development in Custer and Lemhi County not Blaine.

    Were they afraid they might find overwhelming support for wilderness there, even among mountain bikers?
    I doubt you would find much support among mountain bikers.

    Oh and we asked for warmsprings in the beginning...
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailhd
    Not everyone who mountain bikes is against wilderness. For some of us, protection of land from extractive industries, development, and other damage is a higher priority than our own selfish interests. There are many members of SWIMBA who would drop our memberships in a second if SWIMBA takes a stand against wilderness.
    As a National Recreation Area, isn't the Boulder-White Clouds already protected from from extractive industries, development, and other damage?

    It seems to me that trading away land to be developed, in order to further protect land that is already protected, does nothing but encourage further growth in the area. I can't see a positive with the bill. I can see lots of new condos and trophy homes in the valley, and no access for mountain bikes in the hills. What's the upside?
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  22. #22
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    Eric - The White Clouds are not an NRA. The Sawtooths are. Hence, SNRA, Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

    As for SWIMBA, I think they are focusing on Tour de Fat and the trail construction in the Shafer Butte/Bogus area (i.e. things in SW Idaho), at the moment. I could be wrong. Y'all would have to ask Dave Thomas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    As for SWIMBA, I think they are focusing on Tour de Fat and the trail construction in the Shafer Butte/Bogus area (i.e. things in SW Idaho), at the moment. I could be wrong. Y'all would have to ask Dave Thomas.
    The history at SWIMBA was that it recognized that taking a stand on the BWC would split the organization in half so it decided to not take a stand either way. The board meeting minutes bear this out.

    This is why it has disturbed more that a few that Mr. Cook published an Op Ed piece in the Statesman advocating not designating BWC a wilderness - the by-line stated that he was SWIMBA president but did not state explicitly that the opinions were his own and not SWIMBAs. Hence the perception what that he was representing SWIMBA's position and hence the environmental stakeholders don't want to have anything to do with him.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Eric - The White Clouds are not an NRA. The Sawtooths are. Hence, SNRA, Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

    As for SWIMBA, I think they are focusing on Tour de Fat and the trail construction in the Shafer Butte/Bogus area (i.e. things in SW Idaho), at the moment. I could be wrong. Y'all would have to ask Dave Thomas.
    Al, The Whiteclouds are actually included in the SNRA. Look at a Sawtooth National Forest map and you will see, the SNRA boundry almost hits the east fork of the salmon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    The history at SWIMBA was that it recognized that taking a stand on the BWC would split the organization in half so it decided to not take a stand either way. The board meeting minutes bear this out.

    This is why it has disturbed more that a few that Mr. Cook published an Op Ed piece in the Statesman advocating not designating BWC a wilderness - the by-line stated that he was SWIMBA president but did not state explicitly that the opinions were his own and not SWIMBAs. Hence the perception what that he was representing SWIMBA's position and hence the environmental stakeholders don't want to have anything to do with him.
    Well this editorial was about four or five years ago and the editorial did not state that this was SWIMBAs position and it was an accident that it said swimba president under my name. Of course at the time there were other people writing in editorials that included under their name "swimba board member" and that they were opposed to BWC. I guess it is all a matter of how you want to look at the past.

    Enviromental stakeholders are just using me as an excuse because in reality they have no interest in coming to the table. As demostrated by refusing to attend a session moderated by REI.
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    As far as ATVs go I will let my record speak for itself. I worked for 5 years out in the Owyhees to get ATVs banned from the trails in the Wilson Peak area to preserve them as singletrack. And I helped restore east side after the ATVs destruction. I have made countless calls to the FS about blocking ATV access on trails they are not allowed on.

    There are no ATV trails in the whiteclouds that are not roads that you can drive a full size vehical on.

    A lot of people own ATVs in this state and we are going to have some bad apples just like in any other sport.

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    Pics as promised

    Behind every good rant there is a story. Well, this rant started about the White Clouds so lets take a look at some trails.

    Every good ride starts with fuel and getting the head in the game. Let's face it when you are over forty it takes a little longer and you need more high test to get moving. To get my wife out of the tent requires caffine. First pic is of the headwrench about to spew forth the black gold that makes the mind work in the am.

    Next the mixture and finally the fuel for the day.

    Sorry you will have to wait one more post for actual bike pics. This one is for Twisted!
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailhd
    Not everyone who mountain bikes is against wilderness. For some of us, protection of land from extractive industries, development, and other damage is a higher priority than our own selfish interests. There are many members of SWIMBA who would drop our memberships in a second if SWIMBA takes a stand against wilderness.
    mmmm. good koolaid.

    the problem isn't 'wilderness', but inappropriate wilderness. i am supportive of real wilderness, but i am dead against the current wilderness movement that wants to make everything wilderness as way of kicking out responsible motorized and bicycle recreation. the wilderness jihad would have you believe that wilderness designation is the only way to protect the land from extraction, atv's, etc..., but sadly, as i have discovered in dealing with them the last 5 years, they are liars.

    pretty much all the real wilderness quality land in the west is already wilderness, so what do you do if you're a large and well-funded professional wilderness lobbying organization? hmm, i guess in order to continue your existence, you start going after other land, that is not meet the standards of wilderness. so we close a bunch of trails that have been used for decades. at least we get more wilderness and we're employed for another couple years.
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  29. #29
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    My Whiteclouds Photo Essay

    Pictures from Trails that would be closed by CIEDRA and currently protected from development and extractive industries by the SNRA. These are all from our annual camping trip...

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by velosapiens
    mmmm. good koolaid.
    Mountain biking in general straddles a divisive fence. One one side are the hammerheads that don't mind the same kind of adrenal rush that comes with twisting a throttle. On the other side are the pansy sniffers that want the soft and delicate oudoor experience and who would gladdly put a hacksaw to their steed in the name untrodden meadows.

    And about the virgins that come with wilderness/non-wilderness doobie points. They ain't that hot.
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    My photo essay continued..

    yum...
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    Last of the pictures of Trails that would be closed by CIEDRA

    bummer..
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Eric - The White Clouds are not an NRA. The Sawtooths are. Hence, SNRA, Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
    Like Chris said, yes the area is already protected by the NRA designation. The Boulder-White Clouds are included in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, but not in wIlderness area (as much of the actual Sawtooth Mountains currently are). Increasing the designation to wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds will not further protect it from resource extraction, but it will exclude several groups of recreational users.

    Claiming that the proposed bill protects the environment isn't correct. It is an economic development bill - says so right in the title of the bill. It's about creating growth in the area to increase the tax base. If you think that growth should be encouraged, at the expense of excluding some forms of recreation (including mountain bikes), then support the bill. But don't support it because it "saves the environment," because it does not.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

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    Back to pics of open trails

    There were several e-mails flying back and forth about doing some epic riding. The ride was planned 3-weeks out. All but a couple of individuals bailed completely and only a couple had time to do an epic trip on Saturday so we did Sublime and back to town to get the wife for the real bike trip. She knows how to get off the coach and do some riding.

    A trip isn't an adventure until something goes wrong. Well the trip to Sublime must have left the tire with a small hole in it and ready to blow. Thirty miles out of Stanley the tire final gives up the go. But wait, it gets better, the jack shoots craps and I have to dig out the tire to change it. It gets even better - the next day I have to drive all the way to Ketchum to get a used tire. The guy at Deans (think this the name of the tire store) is now my hero. We do manage to sneak in a short ride.

    The morning before, I left my wife sitting in the lawn chair with the map and the lattie and asked her what she thought of doing something epic. I had the map strategically placed so she could see Warmsprings to Casino. She takes the bait and pointed out that the contour lines didn't look to bad.

    So I dropped her off at William's Creek drove back to Boundary Creek and jumped on the bike. If the crew had been there we would have started at Little Casino and done the ride clockwise but we had to do the shuttle ourselves so it was a Boundary start. We rode up Fisher Creek to Warm Springs Meadow and took a left on Marten Creek. Marten Creek is where the misery started. The area had been burned not long ago and the soils were fried so the trail tread was soft and hard to get traction. What had looked like an hour and half maybe two hours turned into almost 3-hours of ride a little push a little. The trail was really technical and fun where you could ride it. It was also gorgeous!

    We finally hit the ridge above Casino Lake and were excited about the promise of a great view of the Sawtooth. But it was so smokey you could hardly make out the outline of the peaks.

    Here are the pics

    New trail in Warmsprings Meadow
    Sign pointing to Marten Creek
    Marten Creek with Fireweed
    Marten Creek trail
    Marten Creek Hike-a-bike with O'Calkens, David O, and Castle Peak in the background. At least that is what I think they are since it was so smokey it was hard to tell. They are only a short ways away.
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    Pics of Casino Ridge - open trials

    Once we finally got near the top the lakes started popping up. It was so smokey it was really hard to see. After the hike-a-bike section the descent into Boundry great was a treat. My wife was so excited to ride down hill she threw caution to the wind and we did the descent in 25 minutes. Thanks to Dan M. she now nows how to ride really tight turns and was even riding high on the berm and carring speed through the bottom of the turn.

    Pics of Garland Lake one of many lakes
    Casino Lake near the ridge and part of the Little Casino to Big Casino Loop
    Boundary Creek Trail descent
    Sunset near camp
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    Pics - Going the right direction this time

    We didn't have as much time the next day but we decided to ride up Little Casino before heading home. The was a big rain storm the day before which blew down a bunch of trees. Once we got past the blown downs the trail was a nice easy climb on the bottom section. The meadow sections were covered with butterflies.

    The trail gets progressively steeper and more technical as you get to the top. Nice ride and not as much hike-a-bike as the other direction. Just wish our friends could have joined us so we could have done a shuttle and done it the right way.

    Pics of butterfly
    Little Casino Creek trail
    The feeling of victory upon moving an entire tree from the trail. My wife the stud!

    I will get back to the rant later. But let's keep SWIMBA out of this one. Under new leadership they understand political sensitivity (topic of this thread) and are headed in the right direction with lots of accomplishments lately.
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  37. #37
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    I stand corrected!!!
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  38. #38
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    Watch your sack

    The protection afforded a Wilderness Area is much greater than Under a National Recreation Area or National Conservation Area. Grazing, air quality, trail placement and construction to the level of conflict which is acceptable under are different under NRA and NRC.

    So what does the IMBA website have to say on the subject?

    "National Conservation Areas (NCAs) and National Recreation Areas (NRAs)
    Congress has made at least 10 National Conservation Areas on Bureau of Land Management lands and created many National Recreation Areas on Forest Service and National Park Service lands. Though the existing NCAs are only on BLM lands, nothing prevents the other agencies from adopting them.

    What is an NCA? The acts of Congress that designated the NCAs removed them from mining and from "disposal" (which means they cannot be sold or traded), but said little more about management. Theoretically, BLM could authorize logging, new road building, and even commercial structures within NCAs. IMBA agrees with national environmental groups that NCAs, as enacted to date, offer insufficient protections. We believe that Congress should enact an Organic Act, a law that would govern all NCAs, and that law should prohibit new roads and development in NCAs. However, NCAs may include lands with existing roads, and thus could protect lands that disqualify as Wilderness. NCAs could have a specific management purpose such as ecological restoration or wildlife security.

    NCAs and Wilderness are not mutually exclusive. Congress has designated a large NCA with a smaller Wilderness contained within the NCA boundary. The NCA with Wilderness option can create a win-win solution for bicycle activists and Wilderness proponents."

    Isn’t the Boulder White Cloud (CIEDA) essentially what IMBA has proposed above with a National Recreation Area surrounding a Wilderness area? Didn’t we get Casino Lake and Boulder Creek, Frog Lake, and Germania Creek?

    While you ruminate (word of the day) on the thought of what we would get under the CIEDA, think about this, the reason this topic is so contested and testy is because of the quality of visual environments and primitive setting. We are all passionate about the experience we get when in these areas. So doesn’t the woman with a pack string of animals going into enjoy the White Clouds have as much right to a primitive experience as mountain bikers. I know the guy we met last year in the White Clouds wasn’t happy to see us (mountain bikers) stirring up his pack mule. Doesn’t the backcountry skier deserve a little solitude after humping up the mountain two-hours to that perfect open bowl? Should the backcountry skier always head out not knowing if the perfect bowl is already high marked by snow machines. Don’t these people deserve the same considerations as mountain bikers?

    Designating Wilderness areas is about setting the acceptable levels of conflict and preserving the integrity of the primitive setting. I wish it would just stay the way it is now but your parents decided to spawn and you have either moved here or thinking about visiting. The extra pressure from the loins of your parents is going to push the user conflicts past the breaking point of a true Wilderness experience. We have two choices, you can all pack your bags and get the hell out of the west or we can find some resolution. Remember Mr. Jones and his 118,000 ATVs and growing fatter is licking his chops just waiting to represent that future bloated number of ATVs in the next Travel Management Plan!

    As much of a selfish beer drinking butthead as I am, I have met some really nice people that have moved to Idaho and I think we can find ways of sharing – which means compromise. I still think we as mountain bikers stand a much better chance of consideration under the question of bikes being mechanized than holding hands with the motorized crowd and the question being whether motorized fits under the Wilderness setting. After all a backpacking stove is mechanical as is half the gee dunk the horse packers bring in.

    To be invited to discuss the inevitable Wilderness designations we are going have to stay squeaky clean and stay out of the political shenanigans that started this thread. We also must be dogmatic and persistent beyond belief and stay in the discussions on Wilderness. I pay my IMBA dues but think it is going to take a lot more than that. It is going to take trust on the local level because the national organizations are not going to go easy on the mechanized bike issue. It is going to take trust between the local bike community and local conservationists and IMBA.

    As passionate as you are Chris you deserve a lot of credit for sticking with the issue but you have stepped on your own doink so many times you have no credibility and are now a hindrance. I will gladly dig dirt next to you and talk politics but you DO NOT REPRESENT ME!

    I will end this thread on a positive note. To those that we showed the Owyhee and you actually wrote a letter supporting the non-motorized issue thank you! To those that showed up to build trails and work through the sensitive issues, thank you! To those that wrote letters on the Wilderness designation thanks no matter what side of the fence you were on. To those that are straddling the fence and just saying “no,” watch out the fence is hot and your sack is near danger! Think about it before you step on one side or the other, there is a lot to think about!

    Now I am going back to digging this political stuff is like pissing in the wind. You get dirty digging but you just don't have the fresh feeling after having these political discussions.

  39. #39
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    Well Buddha, When I started getting involved some 7 years ago, I knew I would ruffle some feathers, but these things happen when you work to kill a bill that someone has been working on passing for years. You certainly won't hear rosy reviews on me from Linn of the ICL or Lynne Stone of the BWC Council. This doesn't bother me thought because I can still ride my bike in the Boulder Whiteclouds and hope to be able to take my kids biking on those same trails. I will never stop finding ways to oppose a bill that results in the wholesale closer of miles of my favorite trails, at the same time I will constantly be vigilant in ensuring the primitive character of the Boulder-Whiteclouds for generations to come.

    I would rather advocate for real solutions for the Boulder Whiteclouds that seek to preserve the primitive character of the area. If the BWC gets designated as wilderness the area will actually degrade as flocks of tourist stream into the area uncontrolled and unregulated. It is really a nice wilderness experience to have a 5 foot wide trail covered in fine dust after being pounded by pack train after pack train. This is happening right across the valley in the sawtooths.

    A real solution to keep the Boulder-Whiteclouds primitive would be to move to a permit system where only a limited number of people would be allowed on the trails with the permit taking into account your impact on the land. Set a load carrying capacity for each trail and then fill that capacity based on the different users. Wilderness is simply a tool. Will you stand behind real protection?

    You can get behind the wilderness advocates and wait until the only place you can ride is in the foothills or you can protect your right to ride. Groups like the Wilderness Society and Idaho Conservation League will not stop until the only place you can ride is the foothills. If you don’t believe me look at the maps in their office and their support for large statewide wilderness bills which will close countless miles.

    And Buddha you talk about all those people who are moving here, tell me how old you were you when you moved to Idaho? I first moved here when I was 21.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    The usual drivel
    Once again...

    Cook opens mouth. Cook inserts foot. Cook wonders what's in his mouth and how it got there.

    Can't you go get another MBA or something?
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

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    Three to four generations

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    And Buddha you talk about all those people who are moving here, tell me how old you were you when you moved to Idaho? I first moved here when I was 21.
    Well Chris since you asked. One of my great grand fathers moved from Ireland in late 1800's and got a job running herds in Colorado. He was such mean rotten bast*rd that the Colorado ranchers were afraid of him and did mess with his free range cattle herds. After selling off his herd to the mormons, he moved to the Twin Falls area about 1907 to raise a family.

    My other great grandfather was a loan shark that loaned money to people outside of banks that couldn't get a legitimate loan. He was know for breaking legs with a single tree (connects horses to a wagon) if they didn't pay up. He ended up loosing his arse on mining claims up Frenchman's Bend area in Ketchum and Shoop (sp?).

    So you ask when I moved to Idaho? Well it was some 46 years ago when Pops spread his seed. Maybe if I was a little more like my great grand parents and carried a big stick, people like you would be less likely to come to Idaho and enjoy what we have to offer.

    Mark V., Jack and others you have claimed to have saved are also native Idahoans going back several generations. We were all doing just fine before you moved here seven years ago and started your self promotion.

    Now I have to get back to work improving the quality of your riding experience. Some of us are actually dedicated to preserving the Idaho quality of life, while others like you continue to step on your doink and muddy the waters.

    But thanks for asking!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    Well Chris since you asked. One of my great grand fathers moved from Ireland in late 1800's and got a job running herds in Colorado. He was such mean rotten bast*rd that the Colorado ranchers were afraid of him and did mess with his free range cattle herds. After selling off his herd to the mormons, he moved to the Twin Falls area about 1907 to raise a family.

    My other great grandfather was a loan shark that loaned money to people outside of banks that couldn't get a legitimate loan. He was know for breaking legs with a single tree (connects horses to a wagon) if they didn't pay up. He ended up loosing his arse on mining claims up Frenchman's Bend area in Ketchum and Shoop (sp?).

    So you ask when I moved to Idaho? Well it was some 46 years ago when Pops spread his seed. Maybe if I was a little more like my great grand parents and carried a big stick, people like you would be less likely to come to Idaho and enjoy what we have to offer.

    Mark V., Jack and others you have claimed to have saved are also native Idahoans going back several generations. We were all doing just fine before you moved here seven years ago and started your self promotion.

    Now I have to get back to work improving the quality of your riding experience. Some of us are actually dedicated to preserving the Idaho quality of life, while others like you continue to step on your doink and muddy the waters.

    But thanks for asking!
    hmmm.... that would make Mike a true "Idahoan"... If you think about it Chris, only a very precious few folks out on the trail and on this board can really claim to be born and raised...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha

    Now I have to get back to work improving the quality of your riding experience. Some of us are actually dedicated to preserving the Idaho quality of life, while others like you continue to step on your doink and muddy the waters.

    But thanks for asking!
    Great to have you working on improving my riding experiance.

    I guess I should have kept my doink and foot in my mouth when they wanted to make wilson peak into a motorized trailhead.

    Obviously we use different methods to get done what we thinks need to be done. You think your methods will save the world while I think mine will. Maybe it is a clash of the generations with the old telling the young how they should live their lives.
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    Mnt bikers do not participate

    As far as the BWC becoming wilderness I am for anything that will keep ATV's out. The way it is now I would have to support the Wilderness bill. The reason for this is do to the fact Mnt Bikers as a group do not want to support Mnt biking in any way shape or form. When we have trail days only a few show up. When Simpson had his meeting how many Mnt biker showed up. How many of you contacted Simpson to give your opinion.I am sure Chris would rather go to war with Mnt bikers but all they want to do is ride and let everyone else do the work. At least Chris is doing something for the Mnt bike community and I respect him for that even if I do not agree with the groups he has chose to partner with. Thanks Chris for your efforts in the Owyhees and every where else.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    We didn't have as much time the next day but we decided to ride up Little Casino before heading home.
    nice pics of little casino. i'm thinking of taking my girlfriend up there next month for some scenic and primitive singletrack dirtbiking. i rode there a few years ago and really enjoyed. just in case that bogus 'wilderness' (really commercial development) bill ever passes, i'd better figure out a way to ride 4th of july and grand prize too, before they're arbitrarily closed as part of shell game to get the environmentalist crowd to ok giving away public land for development.
    mark weaver
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