Draft plan released for two central Idaho wilderness areas

Posted at 2:10 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 16:11:11-05

A draft management plan for two recently-created central Idaho wilderness areas prohibits campfires at high elevations to protect white bark pine -- and eliminates horses and other recreational stock in some areas to protect alpine soils.

The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Monday the availability of the 67-page document intended to guide management of the 138-square-mile Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and the 142-square-mile White Clouds Wilderness.

The agencies say the goal is to manage the areas for recreation and other activities while preserving wilderness character.

Public comments are being taken through Jan. 5.

President Barack Obama signed the wilderness bill protecting the areas in August 2015 after Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho got ranchers, recreationalists and environmental groups to back the plan.

(by Associated Press)