Department of Interior Recommends Idaho Backcountry for Congressional Protection | Environment
A new report suggests 18 backcountry areas that are recommended to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for congressional protection.
At this point it’s only a preliminary list that will be used to collection local support for the foundation of a bipartisan public lands bill that they hope to pass through Congress.
The list was compiled by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and BLM director Bob Abbey based on input from congress, state and city officials and interested parties.
"The backcountry areas we identify in this report are by no means the only public lands that may deserve protection by Congress, but this preliminary list of possibilities shows that there is a compelling case for bipartisan legislative action to conserve lands for recreation, protection, and enjoyment," said deputy secretary David J. Hayes.
Locations from Washington, Idaho and Montana made the list. They’re not exactly localized near you, but if you find yourself traveling for vacation, check them out.
Boulder-White Cloud [Central Idaho] - The region is renowned for its high, wild country and cold, jewel-like lakes. Visitors to the Jerry Peak area, which includes portions of the Jerry Peak and Jerry Peak West Wilderness Study Areas, can explore a diverse landscape ranging from lower elevation sagebrush and grasses to lodgepole and limber pine at the higher elevations. The area is home to deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and antelope. The abundant wildlife makes the area popular with hunters, photographers, and hikers...
Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek Wilderness Study Areas [Western Montana] - The adjacent Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek wilderness study areas are renowned for their scenery, iconic rock formations, and abundant wildlife. The Sleeping Giant area is located along 13 miles of the Missouri River’s scenic Holter Lake shoreline, which provides valuable riparian habitat and opportunities for primitive recreation along one of Montana’s major recreational waterways. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail follows the river through this area, passing through a wild landscape that looks very much as it did when the explorers first came upon it...
San Juan Islands National Conservation Area [Puget Sound] - The proposed San Juan Islands National Conservation Area (NCA) includes public land on dozens of islands within the San Juan Archipelago. Located between the mainland of northwestern Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island, the islands’ unique cultural and natural resources draw large numbers of regional, national, and international visitors each year. Some of the outstanding resources in this area include undeveloped seashore, rocky outcroppings, grassland prairies, thick forests of Douglas fir, and the archipelago’s only freshwater marsh. The BLM also manages a number of historic lighthouses in the area...
Online: Check out the Interior’s report of all the sites across the nation.