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Lands Bill Contains Owyhee Boundary Changes Sought by Crapo

Washington, D.C. – A public lands package, S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, containing boundary changes for three wilderness areas in Owyhee County authored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo passed the Senate this evening. Crapo sought the changes to keep the boundaries in line with the original Owyhee Initiative collaborative land use agreement.  That agreement led to the designation of wilderness areas in Owyhee County along with other conservation and land use measures. 

“The minor changes in three wilderness areas are needed to reflect the original intent of the members of the Owyhee Initiative, and as such were developed to maintain agreed-upon traditional access by ranchers as well as respecting one primitive camping area” said Crapo.  “Maintaining the access and use of public lands for all stakeholders has always been the goal of the Owyhee Initiative.  This legislative language helps ensure those who have utilized the public lands for decades in the Owyhees will continue to do so, while maintaining the new preservation measures in the Owyhees.” 

“The wilderness boundary corrections/changes provided with the passage of this legislation carries forward a critical component of the Owyhee Initiative agreement.   This completes one of the corrections needed that has always had full unanimous support from the OI Board of Directors, illustrating that genuine collaboration can achieve meaningful, enduring results in Idaho,” said Brenda Richards, chair of the Owyhee Initiative Board of Directors.  “We appreciate Senator Crapo helping to assure passage and his dedication to carrying out the intent and directives of the Owyhee Initiative Agreement.”

The lands package references the changes in the Owyhee area that are supported by area ranchers, conservationists and others involved with the Owyhee Initiative.  The bill now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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