A Tour of the White Clouds

WhiteClouds_Castle Divide
I am a conservationist and I am a mountain biker. I believe in the protection of public land for recreation and habitat, and for the beautiful silence witnessed in these wild places. I believe in the collaboration between diverse stakeholders to make sure these wild places are protected for generations to come.
The first week in July, I was honored to join representatives from International Mountain Bicycling AssociationOutdoor AllianceWestern Spirit CyclingBig Woods Bicycle Coalition, and Club Ride Apparel for two amazing days of mountain biking in the White Cloud Mountains, an area, which if designated by President Obama, will be permanently protected as the Boulder-White Clouds National Monument.
The region is one of the last, largest under-protected roadless landscapes in the lower 48 states and supports all types of recreational opportunities. The Boulder-White Clouds offer world-class backcountry experiences including  hunting and fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding and off-road motorized use. As a whole, the Boulder-White Clouds form a large connected drainage that delivers clean water to wildlife, fisheries and human communities near-by.
The weekend of riding in the White Clouds represented an amazing, yet diverse, group of people, coming together with a common goal; to protect and recreate in an area important to each of us. We encountered a few backpackers and horse packers, we praised the trail clearing efforts of motor-bikes, and we rode for hours without seeing any one. We were in a remote area, difficult to access and surrounded by majestic beauty – and we left behind only a few tire tracks and took with us only memories and photographs.
Protection for the Boulder-White Clouds has been in the works for close to 40 years – a campaign led in large part by the Idaho Conservation League, a Conservation Alliance grantee and Idaho’s leading voice in conservation.  The Conservation Alliance profiles the work of ICL in “{WorthWild} Boulder White Clouds”. Watch it here:
The Boulder-White Clouds National Monument, when designated as such, will represent an amazing collaboration between diverse stakeholders; groups of people with varying interests, coming together to protect a place that is important to each of them – to preserve this pristine landscape and ensure that is it used wisely and left intact for our children and grandchildren.