BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Commissioners in two central Idaho counties are backing a new wilderness plan put forward by Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. The Idaho Statesman reports that Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen and Custer County Commissioner Wayne Butts in an April 13 letter say they prefer Simpson's wilderness plan to a national monument designation. Simpson has put forward a scaled-down version that would protect 272,000 acres of wilderness, about 60,000 acres less than an earlier plan.

The previous plan has failed in Congress for years, and some groups have asked President Obama to use his executive power under the Antiquities Act to create a 592,000-acre national monument that includes the rugged Boulder and White Cloud mountains.