On August 7, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act. This act  created three new wilderness areas in Central Idaho: Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness (116,898 acres), White Clouds Wilderness (90,769 acres) and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness (67,998 acres).

These protected areas preserve 275,665 acres of impressive alpine backcountry  with  stunning 10,000-foot peaks, crystal clear lakes, abundant wildlife, rolling sagebrush and sensitive volcanic soils. Collectively, the area represents one of the most intact ecosystems in the lower 48.

What Is a Wilderness Management Plan?

When the wilderness  legislation passed, it stated that  managing agencies must develop wilderness management plans “no later than 3 years after the date of enactment." A wilderness management plan is a framework for how an  area will be taken care of long into the future. It strives to integrate the important resources and uses of the area, including air, water, wildlife, fish, cultural sites, soil, vegetation and people. The goal is to tie all of this information together into one document  so that the wilderness can be managed as a whole.

Your Input Is Important!

Just last week, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management released the first draft of this wilderness management plan. So now is your time to take a look and provide your thoughts. Feedback is being requested by Thursday, Jan 5, 2017.

Want more information? Plan to attend one of the public meetings in Central Idaho about the wilderness management planning process. Here are the details:

  • Challis-Monday, Dec 5, 5-7 pm, at the Forest Service Office, 311 N US Hwy 93
  • Stanley-Tuesday, Dec 6, 12-2 pm, at the Stanley Community Center, Hwy 21
  • Ketchum-Tuesday, Dec 6, 5-7 pm, at the American Legion Hall, 220 Cottonwood St