President Obama Signs Idaho Wilderness Bill
BOISE (KTVB) -- President Barack Obama on Friday signed a wilderness bill protecting 275,000 acres in central Idaho.
Obama signed the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act in the Oval Office with Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho and others behind him.
The president noted that Simpson was able to pass the legislation without a single no vote.
“I am grateful to President Obama for his signature on this important legislation and humbled by the tireless work of countless Idahoans that led to its passage,” said Simpson in a statement released to the media. “The Boulder White Clouds area is now protected, in perpetuity, by the gold standard of preservation designations. I am proud that this was accomplished through a truly collaborative process that produced an Idaho solution to decades of conflict and debate. Without the work of our many partners in this process, and especially the tireless efforts of Senator Jim Risch, today’s signing would not have been possible.”
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas says boundary signs for the three wilderness areas in the Boulder and White Cloud mountains could start going up in a month.
She also says the agency hopes to have maps available this fall.
She says the Forest Service will manage the Hemingway-Boulders and White Clouds wilderness areas, while the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is managing the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness.