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Eye On Boise

No vote tonight

The House Resources Committee won’t vote tonight on the Nez Perce water rights agreement after all. As Chairman Bert Stevenson opened this afternoon’s hearing on the huge agreement, he said the vote is being put off to Friday, to allow more time tonight for public testimony. “We can go longer and give those who’ve come to speak an opportunity take a little more time,” said Stevenson, R-Rupert.

The ballroom at Boise State is packed for the hearing, which so far has included testimony from the Mark Munkittrick of the Idaho Forest Owners Association (against the agreement), forest owner Vincent Corrao of Northwest Management Inc. (for), Chuck Cuddy of the Orofino Chamber of Commerce (against), Dick Rush of IACI (for), Martin N. Thompson of the Idaho/Lewis Cattle Association (against), and Mike Webster of the Idaho Cattle Association (for). There’s lots more to come, including open public testimony.

Here’s a sampling of comments so far:

Rush: “The agreement is truly a historic document and it is one that is written to benefit the state of Idaho from north to south, from east to west.”

Munkittrick: “In their closed-session negotiations they forgot they were making decisions that would affect those who were not represented.”

Cuddy: “Everybody was included in the negotiations except Orofino, Idaho.”

Corrao: “This allows landowners to continue to manage in a sustainable manner.”

Thompson: “You are selling out the non-tribal residents of the reservation. … My great-grandfathers didn’t know that their rights would come into question 110 years later. They homesteaded in good faith.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.