In October, Ralph commented on Larry Craig dropping his opposition to protecting the Snake River in Wyoming. A change of heart from an Idaho politician renowned for his anti-environmentalist zeal ? Not quite. The bill is lumped with a bunch of bills in the massive Omnibus public lands bill. The motivation for Craig’s “turnabout” is perhaps made more clear with a blog post Rocky Barker wrote that I missed but is worth posting even a week later. Craig has slapped onto the bill $3 million for the environmental & economic studies necessary to initiate new dams on the Snake, Boise, and Payette rivers, including the potential to rebuild the historic Teton Dam :
Craig leaves water studies hidden in omnibus bill – Letter from the West, Rocky Barker
Craig himself put out an editorial in November outlining all the good things he included in the omnibus bill including compensation for ranchers who lose livestock to wolves, more thinning of national forests to reduce wildfire danger and even the Wyoming bill he first opposed. But he left out the authorization of the water feasibility studies.
Remember, the Omnibus public lands bill is the legislation in which Idaho Senator Crapo has similarly lumped the Owyhee Initiative, a big “W” Wilderness bill that designates already largely inaccessible to development canyons “Wilderness” in exchange for lots of goodies that help keep some of the most abusive public land livestock ranchers in the west beating surrounding public lands to the dirt/mud.
The Omnibus bill is expected to be re-introduced without debate in the near future.
– – – – –
Addition by Ralph Maughan 12/30. The Idaho Statesman just printed an editorial opposing reopening discussion of rebuilding the collapsed Teton Dam.” . . . on Sen. Larry Craig’s Legacy. Our View: Discussing new Teton Dam is unwise, insensitive. “Idaho Statesman.
You Tube video of Teton Dam collapse. June 1976