Entries in Wilderness (7)


Idaho mountains declared federal wilderness

As seen on PBS News Hour:

A big swath of Idaho wilderness will now be protected from development, thanks to legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Friday. The law ended a 40-year effort that was supported by environmentalists, ranchers, recreation groups and Idaho's Congressional delegation. Idaho Public Television's Rocky Barker reports.


Boulder-White Clouds Protected as Wilderness!

The 114th Congress has just passed its first wilderness designation of this session.  The legislation will protect lands within the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho.  The Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act (H.R. 1138), authored by Representative Mike Simpson (ID-R-2nd) and Senator Jim Risch (ID-R), was passed by both the House and Senate and protects more than 275,000 acres of world class native fish and wildlife habitat beloved by hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers.  President Obama is expected to sign this bill into law later this summer.

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. 

The diverse habitat of the Boulder-White Clouds is unrivaled because it contains both summer and winter wildlife range and staggering elevation changes.  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 area is beloved by hunters, anglers, and wildlife watchers.  And the hundreds of high mountain lakes and hundreds of miles of hiking trails make the Boulder-White Clouds one of Idaho’s premier backcountry destinations. 

Read this announcement from The Wilderness Society, which includes several stunnind pictures of the area. 


A Monumental Trifecta

Above: At Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago, the President speaks at the designation of three new national monuments on February 19, 2015.

In a monumental trifecta, President Obama protected three environmentally, economically, and historically significant places as national monuments: Browns Canyon in Colorado, Honouliuli in Hawaii, and the historic Pullman district in Chicago, Illinois. 

An important victory for the conservation community, the Presidential Proclamation of Browns Canyon, Colorado's 8th national monument, proclaimes that it has been protected for its "wealth of scientifically significant geological, ecological, riparian, cultural, and historic resources, and is an important area for studies of paleoecology, mineralogy, archaeology, and climate change." 

The proclamation also notes: "The protection of the Browns Canyon area will preserve its prehistoric and historic legacy and maintain its diverse array of scientific resources, ensuring that the prehistoric, historic, and scientific values remain for the benefit of all Americans. The area also provides world class river rafting and outdoor recreation opportunities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and horseback riding."

According to a blog post by The Wilderness Society, "Browns Canyon is an outdoor recreation mecca and one of Colorado’s most treasured landscapes. The area is well known for its whitewater rafting, fishing and hiking. This spectacular outdoor playground generates more than $55 million per year in economic activity for the local economy... It's no wonder why 77 percent of Coloradans support protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument.

The President also designated Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii and Pullman National Monument in Chicago. According to a statement by The Wilderness Society:

"The Honouliuli camp on the island of O'ahu was the last, largest and longest operating internment camp during World War II. By acknowledging past injustices, this site honors the experiences of those interned and allows us to enlighten future generations.

The historic Pullman district in Chicago honors a unique, shared legacy that is integrally connected to the push for fair labor conditions and civil rights. The community represents the first model industrial town in America."


Postcards from Cascadia



Wild is a new American biographical film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and a screenplay by Nick Hornby, based on the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail written by Cheryl Strayed.The book and film are about how Cheryl decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone, as a way to heal herself, following her divorce, the death of her mother, and years of reckless, destructive behavior. The film stars Reese Witherspoon and will be released on December 5, 2014 in North America.


Postcards from Black Hills National Forest


Postcards from Badlands National Park