Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, noted that the Legislature has “been very generous when we’ve had the money to be proactive on milfoil, and with the leadership of Rep. Anderson and others, made some great strides.” But now, she said, “Obviously, in our economic downturn we’re at a crisis point, and we have quagga mussels looming 100 miles from our border, so there’s a grave concern.” She asked state Ag Director Celia Gould if she’s “identified other funding sources that could help us with this threat?” Gould responded, “We just haven’t found that money tree for quagga mussels.” Ideas being “tossed around,” she said, include allowing the department to respond to problems with the invasive aquatic creatures through the use of deficiency warrants, as it does for agricultural pests, but she said she wouldn’t want to do that without clear direction from the Legislature. There’s also been talk of tapping into the small amount remaining for milfoil, she said. She told JFAC, “We’ll keep looking for grants – we’ll turn every rock over.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210
Main switchboard: (509) 459-5000 • (800) 338-8801
Newsroom: (509) 459-5400 • (800) 789-0029
Customer service: (800) 338-8801