August 6, 2010 in Idaho, Outdoors, Region

Simpson hasn’t given up Idaho wilderness hopes

Associated Press

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says he hasn’t given up hope on his plan to create a new central Idaho wilderness.

The six-term Republican told the Twin Falls Times-News this week that despite opposition, “strange things happen in legislative sessions.”

Last month, his bill to create the 330,000-acre wilderness in the Boulder Mountains and White Clouds Peaks got a congressional hearing.

But Gov. Butch Otter came out strongly against it, as have pro-motorized recreation groups backed by Albertsons grocery-store heir Joe Scott.

Otter says he’d never support the plan.

Simpson is still trying to revive the proposal, after GOP U.S. Sen. Jim Risch said the bill needs more work to develop consensus between opponents and its proponents, which include the Idaho Conservation League.

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