The ongoing debate over the Boulder-White Cloud Mountain recreation area has attracted what appears to be some unexpected opposition from one of Idaho's most famous and politically active citizens.
Singer and Idaho resident Carol King will testify before Congress next week in opposition to Rep. Mike Simpson's (R-Idaho) proposed legislation that would reserve 300,000 acres of the Boulder-White Cloud recreation area as new wilderness while compensating local governments with nearly $20 million and almost 6,000 acres of public land for use however communities see fit.
With conservation groups like the Idaho Conservation League, the Wilderness Society and the Campaign for America's Wilderness supporting the bill, it's surprising that King, who was a vocal advocate for Democrat John Kerry during the 2004 election, would oppose a seemingly conservationist and environment-friendly bill.
However, King says that Rep. Simpson's bill is flawed because it is not aggressive enough in conservation. King's biggest complaints about the bill concern the 6,000 acres of public land to be privatized, the intention to release more than 131,00 acres of wilderness for potential development and the allowance of motorized traffic in areas that are currently designated for non-motorized traffic only.
"This is really the hinge of history in terms of the wilderness protection movement," King told the Associate Press. "If this goes through, we are well on our way to a new era of public land giveaways."