Unlikely Allies Owyhees Initiative unites warring factions

A Model for the Future? What was wrong with a national monument?

Unlikely Allies. Owyhees Initiative unites warring factions. By Deanna Darr. Boise Weekly.

I’ve never been much of an enthusiast for the Owyhee Country because my picture of it is scenic, vertical-walled deep canyons with piles of manure and cheatgrass separating them. With the passage of this “unique Idaho solution,” almost everything will stay the same. Apparently the “model for the future” is more of the past.

What threats to the scenic canyons does the OI’s passage prevent?

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Note: it hasn’t truly passed yet. It must clear the U.S. House of Representatives. It is part of the Omnibus Public Lands bill, about why we have posted a number of articles.

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Photos: Scenic canyons. Big Jacks Creek. Trashed uplands.

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Giant omnibus public lands bill to be voted on soon in new Congress

Looks like Harry Reid is keeping his promise to bring the bill back up-

This is a really big thing, much larger than the two parochial stories below, even though a lot of it deals with “cannonball parks.”

Here is s.22, ” The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.” This replaces the 2008 version I had up. They are debating it this weekend. Republicans are filibustering.

Last Congress the omnibus measure passed the House, but failed due to Senator Coburn’s filibuster at the last minute in the U.S. Senate. Majority Leader Reid said he would bring it up again without having the bills inside this “omnibus container” having to start at square one back in the committees of the two chambers of Congress.

Regarding Idaho, this contains the controversial Owhyee Initiative.

Omnibus public lands bill is not truly dead.

Early resurrection planned in the next Congress-

Although it was supposed to move in the lame duck session, that session fizzles and the bill was pulled under threat of filibuster by Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Senator Reid, the major leader, has announced that an unrevised version of the massive public land bill (pieces of public lands legislation all over the United States inside) will be brought up early in the next Congress.

This is good news. This is also horrible news because of the the content of the various individual items. One of the worst is the Owyhee canyonlands a.k.a. Owyhee Initiative in SW Idaho.

Rocky Barker traces its origins in his blog today and Begreen has a fine response.

Turnabout: Idaho senators support Snake River protection bill

Larry Craig said to drop his opposition to protecting the Snake River in Wyoming-

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, and especially idaho Senator Larry Craig, have dropped their opposition to the bill by Wyoming’s two U. S. senators to protect the Snake River and its headwaters tributaries as parts of the national Wild and Scenic Rivers system.

The Snake River rises in Wyoming, but runs through Idaho where much of it is diverted for irrigation.

The Snake River protection plan has advanced, but over the wishes of Idaho’s Larry Craig (who will be retired in a couple months, but could yet cause problems in the U.S. Senate).

Crapo too has opposed the protection of the Snake River. One reason for the change may be Crapo’s desire to advance his “Owyhee Initiative” in Idaho, which would designae a number of canyon areas as Wilderness and give preferments and advantages to Owyhee area ranchers. Both the Snake River Bill and the Owyhee Initiative are expected to be in a massive omnibus public land bill to be taken up in the likely “lame duck” session of Congress after the Nov. 4 election.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. Idaho Senators Now Support Snake River bill. By Noah Brenner

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