Idaho and Northern Rockies Wild Country
A fair portion of Idaho's Boulder Mountains will be designated as the Ernest Hemingway
Wilderness by CIEDRA. Copyright © Ralph Maughan. Photo taken August 12, 2006.
Note: CIEDRA failed to pass and died when Congress adjourned in late Dec. 2008.
President Clinton did something no other President attempted -- he tried to protect all the remaining undesignated wild roadless tracts on our national forests from building of permanent roads. This affected most of the fifty states, but the biggest battle has always been in Idaho and Montana, where political resistance has prevented the protection of many of these de facto wild lands as congressionally designated Wilderness areas.
President Bush has turned the Forest Service completely around on this issue. For a President who spoke of "his values," protection of our national outdoor heritage was not on his list.
This site The American Heritage Forests Campaign. is devoted the Idaho roadless undeveloped areas, with some news and links to roadless and wilderness issues in other Western states. It is a wonderful resource on the roadless area controversy.
For the latest wild country news, go to my blog.
Idaho has more acres of unprotected wild land than any other state except Alaska
1 . . . and while most of it isn't legally protected; 4-million acres of protected Wilderness in Idaho was protected by Congress prior to 1981, when the last Idaho wilderness area was established -- The Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness.
2. But much of the 9.5 million acres of unprotected roadless country is truly wild country comparable to the designated wilderness.
3. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the remaining wild land was increasingly logged by the Forest Service, egged on by local politicians for development, almost always at loss of money to the American taxpayer. President Clinton took away their tools of waste and destruction, but President Bush has embarked on a new destructive, money-wasting course of action.
4. Find out about specific Idaho roadless areas here. Note that the linked web page is not an exhaustive description of every Idaho national forest or BLM roadless area.
5. While Montana doesn't have quite the wild country at stake as Idaho, Montana roadless areas need your help too as do those in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon.
6. The Bush Administration is doing all he can to make sure none of the remaining natural splendor of pristine American is protected from logging, grazing and drilling. Whatever else you may think of him, good or bad, Bush is the worst enemy of wild country of any President in American history.
Ralph Maughan's Wildlife Reports
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