Boulder-White Clouds

Inside Idaho's debate over a new national monument.

By Brian Smith

Making a National Monument

For decades, conservationists have lobbied for additional protections for the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains. It’s a scenic area they say offers unparalleled recreation and world-class hunting and fishing but is under threat of harmful development and mining.

Groups have lobbied for portions of the landscape to be set aside as wilderness to prevent more roads, logging, mining and use of motorized and mechanized transportation. Creating wilderness, however, takes an act of Congress, which hasn’t paid much attention to the matter.

Now several groups have joined to lobby the Obama administration to establish a 571,276-acre Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. Their actions have renewed a statewide conversation about the area and the future of its management.


For Starters

A Diverse Landscape
What's a Monument?
Idaho's Wild Places

A Wild Idea

Initial Threats, Protections
A Bill They Call CIEDRA
Shifting Toward a Monument
A Monumental Process

Devil in the Details

All About Access
Two Counties at Odds
Idaho Voices Weigh In

Background images courtesy of John McCarthy, Lee Melly and Ed Cannady. Web design by Dan Warner