Posts tagged: 2012 Idaho Legislature
OFF-ROAD VEHICLES — Idaho recently came within an eyelash of stripping the Idaho Department of Fish and Game of the authority to regulate the use of all-terrain vehicles on public land during hunting seasons.
An editorial in the Idaho Mountain Express notes that if the state Senate had not stopped a measure that had been approved by the House, Fish and Game would have had no say on where hunters could operate ATVs during big-game hunting seasons.
That would have been a big mistake, the opinion piece suggests.
Read on for the editorial's reasoning.
Click here for the Idaho Fish and Game Department's web page on ATV issues.
Two bills of interest to outdoor recreationists have died in the Idaho Legislature.
CYCLING — The mantra of less government control in Idaho apparently doesn't apply to bicyclists.
An Idaho representative wants to forbid bicyclists from riding two abreast as part of a bike-safety measure that would also require drivers to maintain a three-foot distance from cyclists when passing.
The Spokesman-Review reported that Rep. Marv Hagedorn of Meridian suggested adding the two-abreast ban to the bill before it was sent to the House for amendments on an 8-4 vote.
Its sponsor, Rep. Roy Lacey of Pocatello, hopes to make it safer for non-motorized transportation on Idaho’s roadways.
Lacey’s measure also covers pedestrians, joggers, wheelchairs and horses.
Not everybody was supportive.
House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke cited an existing law requiring motorists to exercise due care when passing.
But Kurt Holzer, a Boise attorney and cyclist, says this bill helps define just what “due care” means.
HUNTING — Idaho sportsmen's opposition may have swayed the close vote to stop a bill to give landowners big-game tags they could sell. But another vote on a similar bill is brewing.
Senate Bill 1282, sponsored by Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, would allow private landowners to receive and sell “special incentive tags” for deer, elk and antelope if they first negotiate public access agreements with the Idaho Fish and Game Department.
The bill languished in the Senate Resources and Environment Committee for weeks but was given new life — and likely a vote this week — when a similar piece of legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, died on the Senate floor, the Lewiston Tribune reports.
The vote was close: 17-17, with the decision to fail the effort made by the tiebreaker.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission chose to support Brackett's bill even thought it formally opposed Siddoway’s version, report's Tribune outdoor writer Eric Barker.
Read on for details from Barker's story.
FISHING/HUNTING — Speakers will provide updates on Idaho Legislature activity of interest to hunters and anglers, as well as an update on the spring chinook salmon forecast at the monthly Sportsman's Breakfast in Lewiston on March 6.
Other presentations will cover big game issues and enforcement highlights.
The Clearwater Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will provide coffee and doughnuts.
The meeting begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Fish and Game office, at 3316 16th Street in Lewiston.
The meeting is open to anyone interested in wildlife and is designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues.
Info: (208) 799-5010.
HUNTING — The Idaho Senate, in a rare 17-17 tie vote, killed a bill that sought to allow landowners to sell special hunting tags they receive because their properties provide important habitat for deer, elk, or pronghorn.
The measure that died Wednesday was sponsored by Sen. Jeff Siddoway, a Republican rancher from Terreton.
Currently, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission allows eligible landowners to participate in drawings for “Landowner Appreciation Tags.”
According to the Associated Press, Siddoway wanted to allow landowners the chance to cash in on these controlled hunting tags by letting them sell them to other hunters, at any price they negotiate.
The bill raised concerns that Siddoway sought to extend to landowners like himself a lucrative new option that violates the spirit of Idaho’s hunting legacy — preserving opportunities for everyone, not just the privileged, the Associated Press reported.