HB 213, the bill to require all boats launched in Idaho to carry an invasive species sticker to help raise money to combat quagga and zebra mussels, has cleared the Senate Resources Committee on a 7-1 vote. The bill earlier passed the House; it now heads to the full Senate. Committee Chairman Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, wondered, “Why can’t we just ban boats from another state?” And Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, said, “If we don’t do a good job and one boat comes in, all this money, all this effort is wasted.” But Pearce cast the only “no” vote on the committee. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, the bill’s sponsor, said, “The threat … is absolutely critical - it’s very, very real.” He said if the invasive mussels get into Idaho, and they’re now just miles away in Utah, it could cost $94 million a year just to cope with their fast-multiplying presence clogging up Idaho’s waterways, beaches, pipes and irrigation systems.
The stickers would cost $10 a year for boats registered in Idaho, $20 a year for boats registered elsewhere, and $5 a year for non-motorized boats, which aren’t registered. The only exemption would be for inflatables less than 10 feet long.