A group of four Conservation Alliance members traveled to Washington DC to talk to members of Congress about the importance of securing new Wilderness designations in Idahos Boulder-White Clouds Mountains.
Representatives from Cascade Designs, Chaco, Outdoor Industry Association, and The Conservation Alliance spent two days in meetings with 12 Congressional offices to show support for legislation that would protect 319,000 acres of federal land as Wilderness. The bill would also cap motorized recreation on another 500,000 acres of land surrounding the Wilderness.
The Conservation Alliance organized the trip in conjunction with the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) (www.wildidaho.org) a recent Conservation Alliance grant recipient.
“When possible, we like to supplement our financial support with on-the-ground advocacy,” said John Sterling, Conservation Alliance Executive Director. “Our member companies recognize the value of protecting wild places for non-motorized use.”
Conservationists in Idaho have been working for roughly 25 years to protect the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains. During that time, off-road vehicle registrations have skyrocketed from 750 in 1980 to 104,000 today.
“Motorized recreation in Idaho is on the rise, making it urgently important that we preserve some areas for non-motorized use,” said Sterling.
It has been 26 years since Congress last designated new Wilderness areas in Idaho, a trend that ICL hopes to change by showing broad support for protected public lands.
“The strength of this endeavor comes from the diversity of allies, and Conservation Alliance members broadened that even more at a very important time,” said Johnson.
Trip participants included Tami Fairweather (Cascade Designs), Brian Scranton (Chaco), Amy Roberts (Outdoor Industry Association), and Sterling.