The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will meet at 8:30 on Wednesday morning with a single issue on its agenda: Funding for the Clagstone Meadows conservation easement in the Idaho Department of Lands and Idaho Department of Fish & Game budgets, where federal funds are tabbed for the easement. This morning, the joint committee re-set the budgets for both agencies to remove the item, and allow it to stand alone in a separate bill.
JFAC Co-Chair Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, issued this statement:
“We have to now move forward as we are out of time. Also, if we do not act this session, the project cannot be closed and the grants that have been awarded to the project will likely expire. Further delay will kill the project.
“I have watched and listened as closely as possible to the discussions today in Bonner County. The Commission has withdrawn their previous letter of opposition which was the reason the bill was brought back to JFAC Committee. It is now time for us in state government to move forward and take care of our responsibilities.
“Personally, I strongly believe this project is good for Bonner County, good for wildlife and sportsmen, and good for our forest products industry keeping working forests, working men and women, working. The discussions around this property have been going on in our community for close to 6 years now. It is the right thing to do and many, many people in our community support it.”
Here’s a link to the JFAC agenda. And here's a link to our full story at spokesman.com on today's Bonner commission meeting, at which local residents spoke out both for and against the easement, with the majority of those there in support.