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Contacts:
Rick Johnson, Executive Director, Idaho Conservation League, 208.863.4099
Dani Mazzotta, Central Idaho Director, Idaho Conservation League, 208.726.7485

President Signs Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness Bill

Action Comes Days After Unanimous Passage in House and Senate

Boise – This morning, President Barack Obama signed the Boulder-White Clouds bill into law, days after both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unanimously passed the legislation. The president’s signature represents the final step in providing formal and lasting protection to one of America’s most pristine and wild landscapes, the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains of Central Idaho.

"This has been an extraordinary week and a half," said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Idaho Conservation League. Mr. Johnson was in the White House with President Obama at the bill signing ceremony. "This represents an amazing accomplishment for Rep. Mike Simpson and Sen. Jim Risch. We thank them for their leadership, as will generations to come."

"For decades, the Idaho Conservation League has worked to conserve the Boulder-White Clouds, working with Idahoans from all walks of life," said Mr. Johnson. "In those conversations, we’ve made many concessions and compromises, because that is how the process works. After all, we all have a stake in how these lands are managed. The national monument proclamation ICL and others have been working towards over the last three years would have protected more acreage, but in the end, Congress decided the time for talk was over, and protected 275,000 acres as wilderness. At the end of the day, we are pleased that one of Idaho’s most treasured areas finally gets the lasting protection it deserves."

The Boulder White Clouds Law designates three adjacent wilderness areas: the 183-square-mile Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness, the 138-square-mile Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and the 142-square-mile White Clouds Wilderness Area, to protect the region’s diverse wildlife, waterways and ecosystem while still providing recreational opportunities that make this region a destination for many and a driver of local economies.

"ICL’s goal has always been enduring protection for the Boulder-White Clouds in whatever way could get the job done. We thank and congratulate the president and Idaho delegation on this achievement and deeply appreciate the thousands of supporters who’ve been steadfast in their advocacy for this very special place."