Lynne StoneLynne Stone is the Director of Boulder-White Clouds Council. We interviewed her in July near Smiley Creek in the Sawtooth Valley.
What do you value in the Boulder-White Clouds?
“I have spent a lot of time in the White Clouds with my son and friends of his. He likes to fish and that was the way that I could get a little guy to go to these backcountry lakes…As he has moved on and lives out of state now, we still talk about those places we went to. The times we got scared climbing and I got cliffed out, and he was able to go on and get to the top and I gave him the camera. He is ten years old and I am handing him the camera because I’m scared to death. These are memories in the society that we live in where most kids seem to spend their life in front of a keyboard and a computer. Or they are wrapped up in sports like baseball where there are winners and losers. You go into the backcountry. You set up your campfire. You get your tent and your camp set up. Everybody is a winner. It’s just something that all ages can do. Listen to the quiet where all you can hear is the sound of the wind blowing through the whitebark pines. You can hear rocks rolling that those mountain goats are sending down. And you can look up and try to find them. That’s what makes it a special place. The gift that we could give to future generations that we could be so proud of is to protect this as Congressionally designated wilderness.”
What do you think about the proposal to designate the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness?
“Here we are in 2003, and we are once again looking at the possibility of Congressional action, of actually seeing a bill that all sides can look at and give and take. I think that it is very exciting. There is a lot to gain, and there is also a lot to lose.”
What are some of the issues involved in designating the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness?
“In the last five years, new, powerful snow machines are able to
go climb almost any slope. So snowmobiles are the most recent newcomer
into the Fourth of July and Washington Basins. They are climbing those
ridges, right up there were the goats winter, where they are trying to
survive. It’s very difficult for them. Our goat population in the
Boulder-White Clouds is half what it was 9 years ago and it’s dropping.
It’s unfortunate that the land management agencies, particularly
the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, hasn’t done more to analyze
the impacts of snow machines on wintering mountain goats.”