Idaho’s Senior US Senator Larry Craig chairs the Senate subcommitte that has hearings on CIEDRA and the Owyhee Initiative today.
CIEDRA has already passed the House of Representatives where notorious Richard Pombo chairs the committee. His pound of flesh was insistence that the very beneficial buyout of East Fork of the Salmon River ranchers be taken out. The ranchers had wanted to be bought out. There was a hope that it would end a hundred years of overgrazing. An end to grazing could have made it a wildlife paradise.
Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman has a article today where he gives some history of the political battles of the past in central Idaho (which is affected by CIEDRA)
The article says ” ‘No matter what the outcome is on the bills, the process has changed the face of public lands management in the West,’ said John Freemuth, a Boise State University political science professor.’ ” ‘I think it’s a sea change that they have decided to participate in seeking solutions,’ he said.”
I am not so sure. If the bills become worse from the standpoint of conservation interests, there will be no more of this kind of solution seeking. Conservation interests won’t participate. While a number of major conservation groups are standing behind CIEDRA, many other groups are greatly opposed, and some of these folks will probably post to this forum. The off-road vehicle lobby is also strongly opposed because the bill isn’t weak enough even though they got numerous special favors.
If this “new process” offends the membership of the groups that are now participating by having the proposals backfire, almost all groups will just strop participating. If their members are pleased with what they see on the ground, compared to the long stalmate, participation will continue.
At the top of Warm Springs Canyon the the White Clouds Mountains.
Home of the Galena wolf pack. This is in part of the Wilderness designated
by CIEDRA. Copyright Ralph Maughan
I am judging that the Owyhee Initiative has less support than CIEDRA.