PUBLIC LANDS -- Here is a summary of what's involved in the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act (S.3531) introduced in the U.S. Senate on Dec. 8 by Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho:
- Designates approximately 14,000 acres of Wilderness in the Bonner County, Idaho, portion of the Scotchman Peaks.
- Does not close any areas currently open to timber harvest, motorized recreation or mountain biking.
- Keeps the management of fish and wildlife in the hands of Idaho Fish and Game.
- Recognizes tribal rights and practices.
- Does not include 74,000 acres of adjacent proposed wilderness in Montana, which would have to come up in a Montana bill.
The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, which has been working 12 years to gain support for a wilderness bill, has posted the full text of the Act as well as the official map of the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness and a boundary description.
The bill will begin working its way toward Congressional approval in 2017.