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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Scotchman Peaks Wilderness bill and map released

Scotchman Peak overlooks Lake Pend Orielle in Bonner County, Idaho. Sen. Jim Risch R-Idaho, introduced legislation to designate the area as wilderness on Dec. 8, 2016.  (Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness)
Scotchman Peak overlooks Lake Pend Orielle in Bonner County, Idaho. Sen. Jim Risch R-Idaho, introduced legislation to designate the area as wilderness on Dec. 8, 2016. (Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness)

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.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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