(KETCHUM) A team made up of Idaho Conservation League staff and Central Idaho Wilderness Steward volunteers installed new signs Oct. 6 to 8 along the White Clouds Wilderness boundary reflecting the area’s name change to the Cecil D. Andrus – White Clouds Wilderness.
Betsy Mizell, ICL’s Central Idaho Director, helped collect the $8,000 in funds raised by Craig Gehrke of the Wilderness Society and Andy Brunelle, a Gov. Andrus staffer from 1988 to 1995, to make more than a dozen signs. ICL’s Ketchum office also helped recognize each donor who contributed to the effort. During three days earlier this week, a team of four ICL staff and two Central Idaho Wilderness Stewards hiked with these signs to six different locations along the wilderness boundary to install them.
Mizell said, “The Cecil D. Andrus – White Clouds Wilderness is such a beautiful area in Central Idaho. It’s fitting that it bears Andrus’ name because he did so much to protect these and other public lands throughout Idaho and the U.S.”
The new name of the wilderness area was championed by Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and officially changed by Congress in 2018 to honor the late former Idaho Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Andrus. But the U.S. Forest Service, given its tight budget and backlogged work schedule, did not have the funds or labor to make and install signs with the new name.
ICL has a rich history of wilderness advocacy to help protect the special wild places Idahoans love. Our members were instrumental in the establishment of the Frank Church-River of No Return, Owyhee Canyonlands, and Boulder-White Clouds wilderness areas. Currently, our Central Idaho office runs a very successful wilderness stewardship program.