Last night’s Boise celebration of our new Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness made clear why we do what we do.

Around 70 people showed up, and the atmosphere was festive with well-deserved slaps on the back, laughter, pizza and beer.

The family-friendly event brought out lots of babies and children. They may not know or understand it now, but they are the reason that we have worked so hard for over four decades to protect the amazing Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho.

It’s the same reason that Congressman Mike Simpson gave just a month ago when he spoke at an Idaho Environmental Forum luncheon. As a child camping in the Boulder-White Clouds, he lay on his back, gazing at the stars and pondering infinity.

Now those children at last night’s party can do the same thing-hike into the wilderness to cherish this special place, the creatures that call it home, the brilliant stars, and infinity.

Courtney Washburn, former ICL staffer who has moved on to lead Conservation Voters for Idaho, kicked off the evening with a welcome to all. Our own Rick Johnson, who has dreamed of this outcome for decades, shared the history and gave a blow-by-blow of the early August events that led to the wilderness designation.

Rob Mason with the Wilderness Society provided some fun facts about Idaho’s wilderness areas. Did you know that Idaho now has 15 wilderness areas and that the newly minted Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness is the easternmost wilderness area, taking that honor from Craters of the Moon Wilderness?

Thanks to Chicago Connection for committing its venue to our celebration and for providing fabulous food and drink! Thanks to the many people who shared in our exuberance! And thanks to the joyful children and babies who may someday visit the Boulder-White Clouds, stare at the stars and ponder infinity.