City of Stanley passes resolution celebrating Sawtooth Recreation Area

The Idaho House killed a state-level measure to recognize the area earlier this month, citing fears of federal overreach.

STANLEY, Idaho — The City of Stanley has passed a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area after members of the Idaho Legislature killed a state-level measure to mark the anniversary, citing government overreach.

City council members passed their own version of the resolution March 21, the week after the Idaho House voted against the bill.

The resolution is a celebration of the recreation area’s establishment, “along with the enduring legacy of recreation opportunities and environmental protection that it provided for the residents of Stanley and the people of Idaho and the Nation,” according to the language of the measure.

Congress approved an act to preserve the 765,000-acre area – which includes upwards of 700 trails and 300 alpine lakes – in 1972. 

Stanley’s resolution notes the importance of the Sawtooths as a destination for hiking, backpacking fishing, hunting, rafting, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as its significance as a habitat and its connection to the history and culture of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe. 

“The City of Stanley looks forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the U.S. Forest Service in protecting and enhancing the values enumerated in the Sawtooth National Recreation Act and other legislation, policies and regulation affecting the management of the area,” the city resolution reads. “The City of Stanley believes that the importance of these enumerated values will continue to grow over the coming decades, for the benefit of all Idahoans and of people everywhere who appreciate the national world.” 

Although the state-level resolution would not have changed any law or offered any additional funding or protections for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, representatives rejected it on a 45-22 vote. Opponents of the measure described it as “a celebration of the federal government’s overreach.”

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