BOISE -- A conservation group says it's opposed to any overlap of a proposed national monument in central Idaho with the rugged Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
The Sawtooth Society in a statement on Monday says national monument status wouldn't increase current protections for the recreation area and could hinder an eventual wilderness designation.
A proposed plan to create three wilderness areas totaling 332,775 acres while also releasing 130,000 acres from wilderness study area to a multiple-use designation has failed to get through Congress.
So some groups are asking President Obama to use his executive power under the Antiquities Act to create a 592,000-acre national monument that includes the rugged Boulder and White Cloud mountains.
Sawtooth Society Executive Director Gary O'Malley says it's too early to abandon the wilderness goal.