Idaho and Northern Rockies Wild Country
A fair portion of Idaho's Boulder Mountains will be designated as the Ernest Hemingway
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
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.
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.
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.
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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