Boulder-White Clouds

Wilderness status means Boulder-White Clouds rugged landscape and valuable wildlife habitat will be safeguarded against threats like increased off-road vehicle use and mining, preserving its outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

In 2015, Congress passed legislation to permanently protect Idaho’s stunning Boulder-White Clouds region as federally designated wilderness. This victory was the culmination of decades of hard work by The Wilderness Society and in-state grassroots leaders, conservation and sporting group and Congressional champions

In the upper Salmon River region, the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains dominate a landscape that harbors bighorn sheep, black bears, wolves, mountain goats and elk. Prior to its wilderness designation, this was one of the largest intact roadless areas in the country that lacked permanent protection.

Work we are doing

The Boulder-White Clouds. Credit: Ed Cannady Photography.

Wilderness designation

In 2015, The Wilderness Society and local partners saw years of advocacy lead to a federal wilderness designation protecting over 275,000 acres of snowy peaks and gorgeous lake-filled in the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains.

Prominent Idahoans, including former governor Cecil Andrus, voiced their support for permanently protecting the Boulder-White Clouds over the years. In addition to preserving beautiful landscape, protecting this area should help boost the economy of nearby counties, increasing tourism by millions annually.

Comprehensive management to protect wilderness values

The Wilderness Society is working to ensure that land is managed properly in the Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness. The wilderness spans two different national forests and Burea of Land Management lands. Federal agencies currently use three uncoordinated plans in the area, which has led to  the fragmentation of migratory routes for species like elk and salmon. The Wilderness Society is working with  partners and land managers to develop a landscape management plan that ensures the comprehensive protection of wilderness, wildlife and native fish in the  Boulder-White Clouds.

In addition to the wilderness plan, The Wilderness Society will be working to see that other provisions of the legislative protection are implemented, including voluntary retirement of livestock grazing land in key salmon and bull trout watersheds. 

Our partners

The Wilderness Society works closely with both in-state grassroots leaders and national conservation groups to help permanently protect the Boulder-White Clouds.

  • Tim Woody

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s bill to authorize oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge has advanced out of committee and is poised to be attached to the Republican tax package. It will then go before the full Senate for a filibuster-proof vote requiring only a simple 51-vote majority to pass.

  • Kate Mackay

    Today a national coalition of sportsmen, recreation, business and conservation groups calls on the Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke to make good on its promise to the American public that it is against the widespread sale or transfer of 445 million acres of public lands under the department’s management authority.

  • Tim Woody

    The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill’s supporters claim such drilling would raise $1 billion in revenue to offset tax cuts, despite best estimates indicating that revenue target is highly unrealistic.

    In response to today’s committee vote, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from its president, Jamie Williams: