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Eye On Boise

Mon., March 4, 2013, 1:58 p.m.

Non-binding memorial declaring Frank Church wilderness a ‘disaster area’ passes House on party-line vote

A non-binding memorial declaring the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness a “natural resources disaster area” in an attempt to spur the Forest Service and other federal authorities to do more work on damaged trails there has cleared the House on a 57-13, straight party-line vote, with all Democrats voting no and all Republicans voting yes. Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, a mountain guide, spoke against the measure, HJM 1, saying, “Declaring the Frank Church Wilderness a disaster zone is bad for business.”

Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, said, “We’re trying to make a point. …. We need some action there… so we thought that the harsh language was justifiable.” He said, “I think this is a good memorial to encourage some action in the Frank Church.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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