Fate of Boulder-White Clouds Rests with U.S. Senate

Jul 27, 2015

Boulder-White Clouds, Idaho

Ed Cannady Photography
Passage out of U.S. House paves clearer path to permanent protection.

The Wilderness Society released the following statement regarding passage of Rep. Mike Simpson’s bill to protect the Boulder-White Cloud mountains out of the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Congressman Simpson’s leadership on protecting the Boulder-White Clouds is something sorely needed in Washington right now and we commend his ability to move this bill cleanly through the process,” said Craig Gehrke, Idaho Director with The Wilderness Society. “It’s now up to the U.S. Senate to demonstrate that it can finally resolve this decades-long debate.”

Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) first introduced legislation to protect the area in 2004, and The Wilderness Society has been actively working to protect the Boulder-White Clouds since the late 1970s. It was a favorite area of both Frank and Bethine Church, who worked tirelessly to conserve Idaho’s wild landscapes both back in Washington and here at home.

The 275,000 acre landscape just east of the existing Sawtooth Wilderness Area comprises delicately-balanced habitat for eight of Idaho’s big-game species, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, moose, and antelope. Rare and sensitive predators also roam these mountains such as the wolverine, gray wolf, lynx, and mountain lion. Moreover, for thousands of years, salmon and steelhead have journeyed from their birth streams in the Boulder–White Clouds down to the Pacific Ocean—one of the longest salmon migration routes in the world—where they mature into adults and return to spawn. 


The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.    

Craig Gehrke, Idaho Director, 208-350-2077, craig_gehrke@tws.org
Kate Mackay, Communications Director, 208-350-2077, kate_mackay@tws.org