BOISE — Idaho sportsmen are encouraged to join forces with members of a new group called “Sportsmen for Boulder-White Clouds” and sign a petition urging Congressional leaders to work with the president to create the Boulder-White Clouds National Monument.

    The Boulder-White Clouds area is located in the center of the state near Stanley and Ketchum.

    The coalition is backed by former Idaho governor Cecil Andrus.

    "The Boulder-White Clouds area is some of the very best habitat for fish and wildlife in the entire United States," Andrus says.    

    The petition will be addressed to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Custom-tailored language in the proclamation can direct those with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to preserve the world-class fish and wildlife habitat, hunting and fishing opportunities, road and trail access, outfitting and guiding and more.

    Moreover, members of the coalition are seeking stronger protections for the 763,000 acre area.

    "We've been waiting nearly a decade for Congress to preserve our hunting and fishing opportunities in the Boulder-White Clouds, but after years of broken, stalemate politics in Washington D.C., it’s clear that our ‘do-nothing’ Congress can’t get the job done," says John Caywood, a lifelong Idaho hunter and member of the Ada County Fish and Game League.

    The coalition is also endorsed by the Idaho Wildlife Federation, the Ada County Fish and Game League, the Idaho Chukar Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation.

    "I am a lifetime Idaho hunter. I support a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument because it will protect those world-class natural landscapes that wildlife need and outdoor men and women want," Caywood says. "I enjoy hunting and fishing the BWCs because it’s some of the best wild country left in the lower 48 states."

    Coalition officials say the Boulder-White Clouds face an uncertain future because it could be tarnished by new developments, large mines and irresponsible off-road vehicle use at any time.

   "It is our duty to preserve this beautiful region known as the Boulder-White Clouds as a national monument for all to enjoy,” says Jim Nunley, president of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. “Idaho is known for its natural beauty. Hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation on a beautiful day in the Boulder-White Clouds is something we enjoy not by accident. We need to keep it that way."

   For more information, visit www.sportsmenforBWC.org.