Castle Peak and Castle Lake, Ernie Day photo, circa 1970.
In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world — the great, fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. John Muir
A year ago on August 7, 2015, President Obama signed the bill that designated three new Wilderness areas in the Boulder-White Clouds.
They are:
White Clouds Wilderness, 90,769 acres
Hemingway-Boulder Wilderness, 67,998 acres
Jerry Peak Wilderness, 116,898 acres
Total: 275,665 acres
Boulder-White Clouds Council
Box 6313
Ketchum ID 83340


  1. At the end of eight years, he has designated quite a few wilderness areas. But he is responsible for wolf delisting, thousands of wolves killed for absolutely no reason every year, and no judicial remedy. That it was done by a Democrat, co-authored by a Democrat, and under a Democratic administration still is upsetting. Plus his terrible appointees for the Interior and Director of Fish & Wildlife, no continuity, and as with Hillary, do not show an understanding of the issues or that they are important. I can see HRC continuing this legacy by her VP. More needs to be done in areas closer to big cities (hint, hint: East Coast) if they are truly sincere about getting people to appreciate wilderness.

  2. I do hope that hunting is restricted, but most wilderness areas are open to hunting, trapping and grazing….

    Some of us are concerned about the trends toward more “multiple use/human presence” in such areas, which often become trails for “marathon runners, etc.” In a local Jemez Mts. “wilderness area” (Valles Caldera) a runner was “attacked” by a mother bear, who was fearful for her cubs. She was “dispatched” by Game and Fish, the cubs mostly likely perished on their own. Photos are often taken of the Elk herds, with more domestic cattle present than the Elk.

    Should wilderness be just another human playground, with the native wild animals relegated to “tenants” rather than owners of the land?

    Frankly, people should not allowed in every wild place. They may or may not “appreciate” it, but their mere presence causes problems for wild animals, who are just trying to hang on in an increasingly volatile, Climate Change World.

  3. That’s just it – Salazar was the more ‘traditional’ ranching/hunting/fossil fuel interests Interior secretary; but Jewell is all about human use – a one-sided take of human recreation and fossil fuel extraction, so she’s equally as bad in her own way. Salazar darkened our door at Nantucket Sound with the threat of a big wind farm. That place needs to be protected as a marine sanctuary. She needed to think about keeping areas and wildlife protected for their own sake, which I haven’t heard much about.

    Tim Kaine has also been a drilling off the coast of Virginia advocate which is worrisome, and let us not forget the outrageous 30-year take permits for bald eagles and other birds by the wind industry with no accountability by the Obama administration! His administration tends to give carte blanche to industry, letting them write their own tickets and believing they will do the right thing (they won’t) so despite monuments, the environment a high priority. Like the sage grouse, all working together and singing. Yeah right.

    • I had such hopes for Obama and then a lot of disappointment, starting with the appointment of Ken Salazar. Just think what the Trump sons would do if they had any say about wilderness “management.”

  4. It is a spectacularly beautiful area, and I was hopeful at first. Then I read what President Obama said: “It is not only beautiful, but it is an important economic engine for the state–attracting tourism and creating jobs.” Hmm. That sounds ominous.

    So what will make this an economic engine, what all is allowed? The following will continue:

    “These current uses of the Boulder-White Clouds will all continue when it is designated Wilderness: hunting and fishing, horsepacking and hiking; scientific and archaeological investigation; commercial outfitting; access to private inholdings; treaty-guaranteed hunting and gathering; mining on valid claims; livestock grazing; and all non-mechanized forms of recreation.”

    Can’t we just have wilderness for the sake of wilderness and left to its animal inhabitants?Does every parcel of land have to be self-supporting by being “an economic engine”?

    I guess we will never get away from anthropocentrism, the ghost of Pinchot,and the faiths that see no value in anything unless people are using it.

  5. Wilderness for its own sake! It should stay wild and free, without humans. Can humans leave any of it alone? One thing that seems to be catching on, is the setting aside of private wild lands, which are donated in perpetuity, or people can will their homes (if they don’t have land) to be sold at their passing, to purchase wild habitat.
    Unfortunately, groups like Nature Conservancy are not against hunting on donated preserves: “Casey Eggleston, (Nature Conservancy), Wisconsin’s government relations coordinator, answers: Responding to the hunting question:
    “This is a good question, because it definitely brings out the opinions of many. The short answer is this: Hunting policies vary across the Conservancy from state to state and country to country, but is never allowed where we believe it will do harm to an endangered or threatened species.”

    The one group which is working to preserve as much wildlife habitat as possible, which prohibits hunting and trapping on ALL preserves and sanctuaries regardless of whether wild animals are “endangered, threatened or not, is:

    “The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is the only national land trust that prohibits commercial and recreational hunting and trapping of wildlife on the properties it protects. This is why, in 2012, Ken and Vicki Coffin signed a second conservation easement on their Hillsborough, New Hampshire, property.” quote from the website.

    Until we can get livestock off public lands, along with hunting and trapping, this is a good option for a lot of caring people who want to give wildlife a place to call home, free from hunting and trapping.

  6. Ugh. I agree, I can’t stand that term ‘economic engine’ or ‘driver’. Besides being totally devoid of any empathy or feeling, and machine-like, it really isn’t accurate, because these resources are finite. I hate that a constant killing cycle of wildlife, namely wolves, doesn’t allow for the young to grow up or reach an age higher than a few years. I hate that animals are not treated as living things, but just as replaceable targets when new pups are born so that the killing money cycle can start again. It wreaks havoc on animal populations. I don’t want grizzlies to suffer the same fate. ‘Economic engine’ reminds me that motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment are not allowed in wilderness under the Wilderness Act!

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