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Crapo to Meet with Interior Secretary, Welcome Colleagues to Idaho National Lab

Helps debut new vets transportation plan and pulse crop nutrition program

Boise.  - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo meets with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise to get an overview of the coming wildfire season and discuss legislation revising the way fighting fires is funded by the federal government.  Crapo joined with Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and others to introduce the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2013.  The measure, included by the Obama Administration in its Fiscal Year 2015 budget, provides for disaster funding in severe fire years.  The move allows ongoing land restoration efforts, such as logging and habitat and trail improvements, to continue and not be interrupted as in the past, when funding is shifted to fight wildfires.

Crapo will also welcome Senate colleagues this week to the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls. Crapo and Risch invited Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Committee Member Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) to the INL on Friday.

This week, Crapo will join veterans and transportation officials to launch a new statewide transportation service to aid veterans and their families with transportation to medical and other appointments.  The new "One-Click" service is funded in part with a federal grant Crapo helped secure.

Crapo was the lead Senate Republican to add two new Farm Bill marketing and research programs for Idaho pulse producers.  Working with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Crapo created the Pulse Health Initiative to study the nutritional benefits of pulse crops, including the ability to reduce obesity and associated chronic disease.  This program has helped fill a gap in pulse research funding at the University of Idaho and other land-grant universities.  Crapo also worked with Cantwell to create a pilot project emphasizing healthy school lunches made from pulse crops-peas, lentils and chickpeas which are grown primarily on the Palouse of Idaho and Eastern Washington.  Crapo will team with the U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council to demonstrate how the program works while meeting with a health class at Jenifer Junior High School in Lewiston.

The senator will attend a ceremony in Idaho Falls to offer his congratulations to ldaho leaders in agriculture that are being inducted into the Eastern Idaho Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Highlights of Crapo's schedule for the week of March 17 th through the 21 st include:

Monday, March 17:

Boise             11:15 AM       Joins Interior Secretary Jewell, Members of the Idaho and Oregon Congressional delegations and Governor Otter for a briefing on the upcoming fire season and to discuss his legislation on fire disaster funding.  At the National Interagency Fire Center's Jack Wilson HQ  Building, 3833 Development Avenue (off Vista near the Airport).

Tuesday, March 18:

Meridian        10:30 AM       Attends demonstration and news conference for Project ChildSafe, which offers free firearm safety kits, including gun locks, to Idaho families.  Local law enforcement will demonstrate how to properly install the gun locks.  At the Sportsmen's Warehouse, 3797 E. Fairview Avenue.

Boise             2:00 PM         Joins Idaho transportation and veterans officials to announce a new statewide transportation service for veterans and their families.  Crapo helped secure the federal grant to enable the One-Click program.  At the base of the front (south) steps of the Idaho Statehouse.

Thursday, March 20:

Lewiston       9:00 AM         Speaks to health class students and parents in Lewiston about the benefits of the new Pulse Health Initiative and pilot programs in the Farm Bill.  Crapo will be joined by the U.S. Dry Pea & Lentil Council and area growers to discuss the nutrition and research elements of the new programs and the class will be served healthy foods made from pulse crops, such as peas, lentils and chickpeas common on the Palouse.  At Jenifer Junior High School, 1213 16th Street.

Friday, March 21:

Idaho Falls   10:15 AM       Joins Senator Risch to welcome the senior Republican Members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to tour the Idaho National Laboratory.  Press availability for Crapo, Risch and Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) at the INL Energy Systems Laboratory, 750 University Boulevard.

                                          Idaho Falls   6:45 PM         Attends the induction ceremony honoring new inductees into the Eastern Idaho Agricultural Hall of Fame.  Inductees into the group are chosen for their lifetime of service and contributions to agriculture in Idaho.  At the Shilo Inn Convention Center, 780 Lindsay Boulevard.