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.

  • Mason Cummings

    The Wilderness Society is pleased to offer the following assets to press covering LWCF reauthorization. Please credit The Wilderness Society all uses of these materials.

  • Michael Reinemer

    "We appreciate the House Natural Resource Committee working to advance a bipartisan bill today to permanently authorize the Fund. This is a notable step forward to have both sides of the aisle recognize the great importance and impact of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. However, to save this vital program, Americans need to see full, dedicated funding for the program in addition to permanent reauthorization. We look forward to working with members from both parties and both chambers to finally provide long-term security for this critical fund."

  • Michael Reinemer

    The summit draws a broad range of private sector, public sector and nonprofit professionals in the outdoor recreation, public land management and conservation communities.  The event will feature panel discussions with outdoor recreation industry representatives (REI, The North Face, Merrell, Hipcamp), representatives from five federal land management agencies (National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Services, and NOAA), and youth representatives.