lfalen lfalen at turbonet.com
Tue Apr 22 10:47:29 PDT 2008

-----Original message-----

From: "Crapo News Release (Crapo)" newsclips at crapo.senate.gov
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 09:26:42 -0700


CONTACT:    Susan Wheeler (202) 224-5150

April 22, 2008
Lindsay Nothern (208) 344-1108






Crapo legislation is before Senate Energy & Natural Resources


Washington, DC - Representatives from Idaho's ranching and
conservationist communities are testifying before a Senate subcommittee
on Idaho Senator Mike Crapo's Owyhee Initiative legislation today.  They
say the bill; S. 2833, will provide protection for both wild lands and
economic activity in the Owyhee Canyonlands.  Crapo's legislation is
being heard today before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee's Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests.  A markup of the
legislation would be the next step for the Initiative process.  


Dr. Chad Gibson is providing testimony on behalf of the Owyhee Cattle
Association, and says the Association "perhaps has never engaged in an
effort more important to the future of Ranching in Owyhee County."
Gibson, a retired rangeland scientist and extension agent, says the
Owyhee Initiative can end decades of debate over public lands use in the
area and create the Owyhee Science Review and Conservation and Research
Center to augment government decisions with independent and
peer-reviewed expertise.  


Gibson says consensus land management agreements like the Owyhee
Initiative will slow development and damage to the landscape and
maintain its Western heritage.  He notes both wild spaces and open
spaces can be protected under the agreement.  "The best hope for
avoiding fragmentation through special use ownership is to maintain the
opportunity for viable ranching use," he said in remarks planned for
delivery during the hearing.  


Craig Gehrke, Idaho Regional Director for the Wilderness Society, also
will testify, noting that the Initiative rises "above the polarization
in many Western public land discussions."  Gehrke says the "common
ground and common sense proposal that Senator Mike Crapo took to
Congress" can be a critical start to ending land management disputes in
the Owyhees and elsewhere.


"We are committed to working with Congress to ensure that the
legislation is true to the intent of the Owyhee Initiative Agreement, a
unique agreement developed in Idaho between conservationists, ranchers,
Owyhee County elected officials, members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe,
and others," Gehrke said.  "S. 2833 provides lasting protection for
critical ecological, scenic, recreation and wild areas that are
threatened from development and degradation."


A contingent of many Idaho leaders, from Owyhee County Commissioners to
conservationists and representatives of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, will
also attend the hearing beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time in the
Senate Dirksen Office Building, Room 366.


"The Owyhee Initiative transforms conflict and uncertainty into conflict
resolution and assurance of future activity," Crapo said.  "Ranchers can
plan for subsequent generations.  Off-road vehicle users have access
assured.  Wilderness is established.  The Shoshone-Paiute Tribe knows
its cultural resources will be protected.  The Air Force will continue
to train its pilots.  Local, state and federal government agencies will
have structure to assist their joint management of the region.  And this
will all happen within the context of the preservation of environmental
and ecological health.  This is indeed a revolutionary land management
structure-that looks ahead to the future.


"The status quo is unacceptable," Crapo continued.  "The Owyhee
Canyonlands, its inhabitants and cultures and are truly a treasure of
Idaho and the United States; they deserve to have a process of conflict
management and a path to sustainability.  I hope you will join me in
ensuring their future.   


"I will continue to work with Senators Bingaman, Domenici, and Craig,
their staff and others to make the policies and funding that were so
carefully negotiated in the Owyhee Initiative Agreement become a
reality.  As promised eight years ago, I regard the support of the
Owyhee Initiative Work Group and the diverse interests you represent as
mandatory for my continued advocacy for this bill.  Our hard work will
continue after today's hearing and I am committed to achieving the
objectives that brought us together many years ago and keep us together


S. 2833, the Owyhee Public Lands Management Act of 2008, will protect
the economic base and wild lands of Owyhee County.  It would designate
517,000 acres of BLM land as wilderness, while releasing 199,000 acres
of wilderness study areas to full multiple use.  The legislation keeps
ranching operations whole through land trades and purchase agreements
and would offer federal protection to 316 miles of wild and scenic
rivers in the Owyhees.



A satellite feed with remarks from today's hearing will be available
later today with coordinates forthcoming.  




To directly link to this news release, please use the following address:




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FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling
1-800-545-1267.  Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and
instructions.  You can also access the actuality through the Internet at


This is generated from an unattended mailbox. If you have constituent
comments or information you would like forwarded to Senator Crapo,
please do so at the Senator's website, http://crapo.senate.gov
<http://crapo.senate.gov/> . Comments sent to this e-mail address will
not be responded to.

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