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Otter signs into law the salamander as Idaho amphibian

 In this Jan. 19, 2015  photo, Ilah Hickman poses for a photo with a young Idaho giant salamander at the Idaho state Capitol in Boise. The Idaho giant salamander is now officially Idaho's state amphibian after Gov. Butch Otter signed the legislation on Thursday.  Hickman has been lobbying state lawmakers to pass the bill for five years.  (Betsy Russell)
In this Jan. 19, 2015 photo, Ilah Hickman poses for a photo with a young Idaho giant salamander at the Idaho state Capitol in Boise. The Idaho giant salamander is now officially Idaho's state amphibian after Gov. Butch Otter signed the legislation on Thursday. Hickman has been lobbying state lawmakers to pass the bill for five years. (Betsy Russell)
Associated Press

BOISE – The Idaho giant salamander is now officially Idaho’s state amphibian.

Gov. Butch Otter signed the legislation Thursday.

Fourteen-year-old Ilah Hickman has been lobbying state lawmakers to pass the bill for five years. Her dreams were briefly crushed earlier this year when lawmakers killed the bill in committee. However, lawmakers later revived the bill and sent it to the governor’s desk.

Otter gave Hickman a copy of the bill and his pen before letting her sit behind the governor’s desk.

Hickman and her friends then took selfies with the governor after the ceremony.

The salamander, which lives almost exclusively in Idaho, can grow to be more than a foot long. It joins the potato, monarch butterfly and Western white pine as one of 17 state symbols in Idaho.

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