Owyhees bill hits a new snag. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.
Efforts to move the headwaters of the Snake River into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System could derail Idaho Senator Mike Crapo’s Owyhees bill.
Once again the person troubling Crapo is Idaho’s other “more famous” senator, Larry Craig.
Craig who voted against protecting the Wyoming Range from gas drilling is also opposing the efforts of Wyoming’s senators to protect the Snake River (and many of its headwaters streams in Wyoming). Craig’s objection is about the stretch of the main Snake downstream from Jackson Lake (actually a reservoir).
Downstream irrigators in Idaho hold almost all the water rights to the Snake River. Craig thinks the protection bill as passed by the key Senate Committee, supported by Wyoming’s senators, will somehow hurt the interests of Idaho irrigators. The problem for Crapo arises if the Owyhee bill and the Snake River bill are put into a public lands legislative package. Democrats may drop the Owyhee bill from the package if the Republicans keep wrangling among themselves.
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More on this: Idaho irrigators fight Wyo effort. Casper Star Tribune.
Added May 11. Additional information on one of the reasons why the Owyhees matter to more than the livestock industry. Idaho, Oregon desert canyonlands offer early-season camping with amazing views. By Pete Zimowsky. Idaho Statesman.