Groups like the Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, Nature Conservancy and Wilderness Society support the legislation recently introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, though they have plenty of reservations.
Other groups like the Western Watersheds Project, Committee for Idaho’s High Desert, and the Idaho Wildlife Federation oppose it as a give-away to ranchers that locks in years of grazing abuse in exchange for poorly protected designated Wilderness.
Due to the importance of this issue for conservation, wildlife, and scenery, below are some links expressing various points of view on the Owyhee Initiative.
Folks have been working for 20 or more years to protect this huge hinterland.
Owyhee Initiative.org This is a joint web site put up by conservation groups that support it.
Owyhee Initiative.com. This web site by Committee for the High Desert, and Payette Forest Watch against the Initiative.
Senator Crapo on the Owyhee Initiative. Crapo took the “consensus language” and put it in the bill he introduced.
Recent news story on the bill. “Owyhee Initiative begins its trek through Congress.” Read the article in the [Twin Falls] Times-News. Article.
“Jon Marvel: Owyhee bill is a theft of public lands.” Sept. 9, 2006 guest opinion in the Idaho Statesman. Marvel is the E.D. of the Western Watersheds Project which opposes the bill.
In one of the many Owyhee Canyons. Photo Copyright © Lee Mercer
Owyhee Mountains at sunset. Copyright © Ralph Maughan