Bill To Establish River Quality Sinks Without A Trace

A House committee killed an attempt to designate two sections of rivers in Idaho as outstanding resource waters, and an environmental group may have lost any chance of reviving it.

The committee voted 10-7 earlier this week to kill the bill, which would have established the state’s highest water quality standards on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway River and three of its tributaries in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness to the north.

The Idaho Conservation League on Wednesday circulated a statement blaming two of the committee’s three Democrats for casting the votes that killed the bill and criticized the committee proceedings as having “all the decorum of a cat roundup.”

The league’s comments drew a sharp response from committee chairman Golden Linford, R-Rexburg, who had backed the legislation.

In a letter to directors Rick Johnson and Mike Medberry, Linford called their statement “a classic example of how not to win friends and influence people. You have managed to offend many committee members and the committee itself.”

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