Idaho Delegation supports the bill but Governor opposes it
The Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CEIDRA), the bill which would create a Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness, had its hearing yesterday in the U.S. Senate. There are some good and bad things about the bill but the land swaps to Custer County, except for very small exchanges, have been removed.
Additions by Ralph Maughan. This bill seemed to be well under way to passage, shepherded by Idaho Republicans. Now it sounds to me they are looking for a excuse to kill it.
Boulder-White Clouds bill still needs work, Idaho lawmakers tell Senate panel.
BY LAUREN FRENCH – MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
Update. Risch: Wouldn’t bet on Idaho wilderness in 2010. AP
For those who haven’t followed this closely, efforts to protect the area as Wilderness have been underway for over 30 years. The bill before the Senate Committee was essentially written by Idaho’s Republican Representative Mike Simpson. Since Governor Butch Otter says he opposes the bill even if his suggestions for changes are adopted and “now Simpson now says addressing Otter’s concerns is his top priority,” it sounds like Simpson may be abandoning his bill.
This bill was developed by the much hailed “collaborative process” championed by Simpson and Idaho senator Mike Crapo. I have always been skeptical of such a process because it takes so long and requires everyone’s agreement. If the bill is taken back now for more collaboration, there will never be a bill.
It is also notable that Otter’s objections are largely related to already existing Wilderness areas, not the Boulder-White Clouds area itself. The off-road vehicle people quoted opposing the bill have always opposed any bill at all.
June 19. See the latest post in this forum. Butch Otter . . . a sorry piece