For decades, the Idaho Conservation League worked to protect the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of Central Idaho. Last August, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act passed, protecting over 275,000 acres of wilderness in three units.
Immediately afterward, several of our staff and members took a week “vacation” to do trail maintenance in the newly designated wilderness. Our 2015 artist in residence, Peter Lovera, blogged about the experience and shared some fabulous photographs. Everyone agreed that the work was hard but the adventure and the results were rewarding.
Although this special area is now protected as wilderness, our work is not finished.
Now that the policy work is done, it’s time for more fun adventure and hard work-time to dig in and get dirty!
There are trails to clean up, signage to renew, and lots of things to
document for the land managers.
Because of the work needed, we are partnering with the U.S. Forest Service this summer to create a wilderness stewardship program. Ten volunteer stewards will adopt sections within the newly designated Hemingway-Boulders, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak, and White Clouds Wildernesses, as well as in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
After adopting their "wild places," stewards will be on-the-ground guardians for the summer. They will visit their sites monthly to inventory and monitor the wilderness characteristics. To do so, they will collect data on wildlife encounters, visitor use and invasive plants, and they will also clear brush and do other necessary fieldwork.
If you love spending time in the beautiful Boulder-White Clouds or Sawtooth Wilderness areas this is a great opportunity to get involved and give back to the land. If you are interested in becoming a wilderness steward, attend our information session in Ketchum on Apr 6.