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Owyhee Science Review Center Clears Hurdle

Critical part of Owyhee Initiative included in appropriations bill

Washington, DC - A critical part of the Owyhee Initiative land management legislation led by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo through Congress received initial funding approval today from the Senate Appropriations Committee. In outlining agricultural appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $300,000 for the establishment and operations of the Rangeland Ecosystems Dynamics Program. The program, envisioned as the Science Review Center in the original Owyhee Initiative legislation, would be operated through the University of Idaho and concentrate on rangeland management issues in Owyhee County.

"Part of the collaborative agreement that made up the Owyhee Initiative legislation was a commitment to establish certainty for ranchers and others in Southwest Idaho on rangeland management decisions," Crapo said. "The Owyhee Initiative collaborators wanted science review to be part of the future of the Owyhee Canyonlands landscape, and I appreciate the decision by Senate appropriators to accept the suggestions from Senator Risch and myself to set aside funding for this science center."

The committee recommendations still must be approved by the full Senate and likely a conference committee between the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.