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Eye On Boise

Wed., March 13, 2013, 1:22 p.m.

Senate approves disaster memorial re Frank Church wilderness

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A non-binding memorial urging the federal government to help clean up networks of trails damaged by years of wildfires in the eastern Idaho wilderness has blazed through the Senate. The Senate on Wednesday approved a resolution asking the U.S. Forest Service to declare the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness' trail system a natural resources disaster area. The House passed the measure, HJM 1, earlier this month. The problem supporters say is that wildfires and erosion has slowly degraded trails in the 2.3 million acre preserve. Terreton Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway said trails are blocked by fallen trees, making it difficult for hikers and sportsmen to enjoy it. Ketchum Democrat Sen. Michelle Stennett said calling the region a disaster area could hurt local outfitters or tourism groups making a living on the land.

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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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