Idaho 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson on Wednesday introduced a bill to redesignate the White Clouds Wilderness in the Sawtooth and Challis National Forests in Idaho as the Cecil D. Andrus-White Clouds Wilderness in honor of the late Idaho governor and U.S. interior secretary. The bill is H.R. 4134; when I checked this morning, neither the text nor the summary was yet available. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Andrus, Idaho’s longest-serving governor, died in August. Among memorials to him already under way: The city of Boise has renamed Capitol Park, across from the state Capitol, as Cecil D. Andrus Capitol Park. A drive is on to name a new species of foothills plant, identified by scientists at BSU and the College of Idaho, for the late Idaho icon. A scholarship for Idaho students has been established in his name. And the Andrus Center for Public Policy at BSU, now chaired by Andrus’ daughter, Tracy, after his death, is dedicated to furthering his life’s work and legacy.
Andrus made stopping a major open-pit molybdenum mine that threatened Castle Peak, the highest peak in the White Cloud mountains, a top issue in his 1970 race for governor of Idaho; in later years, he helped Simpson in his 15-year effort to win the wilderness designation, which was signed into law in 2015.