Tuesday, June 4, 2013

SNRA enters National Monument dialog

Most readers know about Congressman Mike Simpson's long-running efforts to obtain legislative wilderness designation for about 300,000 acres of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains in The Salmon River headwaters.  Simpson has been working on what's known as CEIDRA legislature for 10 years or more.
Click here for Congressman Simpson's official CEIDRA website:  http://simpson.house.gov/ciedra/

Recently, various individuals and organizations began exploring the idea of creating a National Monument encompassing some or all of the land in Simpson's CEIDRA proposals.  Meanwhile, discussion of the National Monument concept appears to have broadened to possibly include portions or all of the 758,000 acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA).

In a June 4th column titled "Monument at stake in central Idaho" Rocky Barker, a writer for Boise's "The Idaho Statesman" wrote, "Craig Gehrke, Wilderness Society regional representative in Boise, said Obama should consider including the entire 756,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area in a new monument.

Gehrke and (Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor Becky) Nourse both said the Obama administration's review should at least consider turning the entire SNRA into a national monument.

"Something like that would certainly be a valid question to ask," said Nourse, who runs the area out of Twins Falls.

Gehrke and Idaho Conservation League Executive Director Rick Johnson agree. Johnson told his members at its annual Wild Idaho conference at Redfish Lake last month that he wanted a national monument in which all Idahoans could take pride."

Click here to read Reporter Rocky Barker's entire column.

While wilderness designation requires an act of Congress, the President can create a National Monument with his signature, utilizing The Antiquities Act of 1906.

Below are three maps showing Congressman Simpson's various proposed wilderness areas.  A map of the SNRA from The Sawtooth Society is included for reference.

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