Project Area

The project area included the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness (90,769 acres) and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness (67,998 acres)

Project Description

On August 7, 2015, President Obama signed the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act, which designated three new wilderness areas as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System: Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness, Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness, and Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness. These protected areas preserve 275,665 acres of high mountain backcountry with crystal lakes and abundant wildlife.

The designating legislation for these three wilderness areas required the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to develop wilderness management plans no “later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act.” Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop a wilderness management plan and associated NEPA analysis for two of the wilderness areas: the Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness and Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness. This project also included a Forest Plan amendment that provided management direction for preserving wilderness character, developing clear wilderness management objectives, and providing opportunities for interested publics to supply input and participate in the planning process.

Specific Tasks and Outcomes

Environmental Assessment, Decision Notice, and Project Record—PSC authored the 147-page EA and edited the accompanying wilderness plan. PSC also authored the draft DN and maintained and indexed the project record.

Content Analysis—The PSC team analyzed the comments received during the public comment period, identified issues, and reviewed these issues with the Responsible Official. From these comments, the team identified and developed additional alternatives that were not analyzed in detail and modified the proposed action.