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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Simpson’s wilderness bill clears unanimous House committee

Idaho 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson’s wilderness bill for the Boulder White Clouds clared the U.S. House Resources Committee today by unanimous consent, and now heads for a vote in the full House. The bill, which Simpson and an array of stakeholders have worked on for years, would designate new wilderness areas, while also authorizing various land conveyances and striking other compromises with communities within the area, ranchers, snowmobilers and more. “To say I am pleased about the BWC bill moving forward would be an understatement,” Simpson said. “For more than a decade, Idahoans of all walks of life have worked tirelessly on this legislation. It is because of their dedication that we are one step closer to achieving our goal – creating an Idaho solution for managing the Boulder White Clouds.”

A Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, is awaiting action in the Senate Resources Committee. Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker has a full report here; he notes that 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador, who earlier expressed reservations about the bill, could have objected to it in the committee today but didn’t.

The Obama Administration reportedly has given Simpson six months as a last chance to get his bill passed, before it unilaterally declares a national monument in the area, which could be much larger.

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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