February 04, 2005

Owyhee Commissioners Discuss Initiative In D.C.

Senator Crapo meets with group on Owyhee Initiative effort

Washington, DC â?? Owyhee County Commissioners are leading an Owyhee County delegation visiting Washington, D.C. this week to meet with Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, House leadership, agency leaders and others about the Owyhee Initiative. The Initiative seeks to end decades of land management disputes in Owyhee County by preserving grazing rights, designating 500,000 of wilderness while releasing 200,000 acres of wilderness study area, and establishing a Board that will make recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management. Work on the Initiative also resulted in a new a new cooperative agreement between Owyhee County and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe. Crapo, who told the Owyhee Initiative Work Group last month he will introduce legislation so Congress can approve the product of the collaborative effort, is meeting this week with Commission Chairman Hal Tolme and Commissioners Chris Salove and Dick Reynolds in Washington. The commissioners, Work Group Chairman Fred Kelly Grant and Idaho rancher and past National Cattlemenâ??s Beef Association (NCBA) President Eric Davis made the Washington trip to meet with a number of groups on Capitol Hill, including the Idaho congressional delegation, Department of Interior Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlett, BLM Director Kathleen Clark, staff from relevant House and Senate Committees, private property groups and others. â??Passing the Owyhee Initiative is critical to the economic future of Owyhee County,â?? said Commission Chairman Tolme. â??We are here to begin the process of informing people about the Initiative and discussing the specifics behind the Initiative,â?? added Commissioner Chris Salove. â??It is important for the rest of the country to know about the three-year process of collaboration and consensus that has produced the Owyhee Initiative and the agreement between county leadership and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe,â?? Crapo said. â??We are in the process of writing the legislation to put this historic agreement before the Congress by the first part of next year.â?? The Owyhee County Commissioners and Chairman Terry Gibson of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe presented the Owyhee Initiative proposal to Crapo during a meeting in Murphy on October 22nd. A satellite feed with the comments of the commissioners, Crapo, and Grant is available: Today, 1:45â??2:15 p.m. Mountain Time / 12:45â??1:15 p.m. Pacific Galaxy 3 (C-Band), Transponder 7 Horizontal, Downlink 3840, Audio 6.2, 6.8 # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.