For nearly four decades, environmental advocates and politicians worked to get the Boulder-White Cloud mountains of Central Idaho designated as Wilderness, which would eliminate use of mechanized and motorized vehicles in 275,000 acres. It was taking too long, so environmental groups like the Idaho Conservation League, the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society pushed to create a national monument over the Boulder-White Clouds. Their efforts were thwarted when President Barack Obama signed a Wilderness bill into law on Aug. 7. Many hardcore environmentalists are excited to see the peaks perpetually protected but others—like mountain bikers—are bitter about the loss of their favorite biking trails. And even though the Wilderness designation covers less than half of the proposed monument, it's now protected nonetheless.
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