Scary Wilderness Bill

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FunRunner
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Scary Wilderness Bill

Post by FunRunner » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:35 am

Does Idaho Need More Wilderness?

BOO! EXPECT A WILDERNESS SCARE THIS HALLOWEEN
Posted on: October 19, 2007

By Chris Cook, an avid Mountain Biker and
founding member of the Idaho Recreation Council

2308 N. 27th St.
Boise, ID 83702

208.794.7255

Just when you thought wilderness bills couldn’t get any scarier along comes the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA), and just in time for Halloween!

NREPA would designate nearly 10 million acres in Idaho as wilderness and nearly 13 million more acres in other western states. It is one of the largest wilderness bills ever proposed in Congress. It would close those lands to motorized/mechanized recreation and remove 6000 miles of roads.

What is scarier yet is that people who support smaller wilderness bills such as the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA) are using NREPA to “scare up” support from local leaders in Custer County.

The Custer County Commissioners have already been spooked into believing that CIEDRA can somehow fend off a larger bill like NREPA. The fact is that this Congress could pass CIEDRA and a future Congress could come in right over the top of CIEDRA and designated additional thousands of acres as more wilderness. Congress is unlikely to pass NREPA at this juncture because so many western lawmakers on both sides of the aisle oppose it. However, a future President could finagle any wilderness bill he or she wanted or designate that land as something else that still puts it off limits to most of us. Ask the folks about Escalante in Utah or the citizens of Alaska that have the largest wilderness designation in the U.S in a deal cut by the Carter Administration.

What is really scary about the arguments over these two bills is that proponents of CIEDRA say it is an “either or” scenario, CIEDRA or NREPA. Based on past Congress’ and Administrations, we can clearly see that this is not the case. Both bills are bad for Idaho and the overwhelming majority of Idahoans who recreate, work, and just plain enjoy the outdoors in these public lands. Our recent polling shows that 83% oppose CIEDRA in Custer and Lemhi Counties and over 70% oppose any more wilderness designation at all. These numbers fly in the face of those who would try to scare us into believing that wilderness is inevitable and there is some kind of silent majority support for these bills.

People pushing these wilderness bills try to claim that wilderness designation is good for local rural economies. If that is true then why are most or all of the rural communities adjacent to wilderness areas in Idaho struggling economically.

Eastern lawmakers should stop trying to turn our western states into “ghost” towns with their wilderness proposals. And western lawmakers should find better ways to help rural communities with their local economies than scaring them into accepting a bad piece of wilderness legislation.



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Post by crash » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:15 am

I've heard the argument over and over again that "this president hasn't designated nearly as much as past presidents". Maybe that's because at some point THIS HAS TO STOP!!!

Too bad this thread isn't somewhere that most people will see it. :cry:

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Post by FunRunner » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:17 am

Yep...too much apathy in our midst....our members have limited interest and reach....scratching the other similar interest groups backs takes too much effort.....When we're on the outside looking in, I guess we can sing the blues and lament how "it used to be" :?

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