March 12, 2019

President Signs Lands Package Containing Owyhee Boundary Changes Sought by Crapo into Law

Language reflects original intent of Owyhee Initiative collaborative land use agreement

Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump today signed into law S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, which contains legislation authored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo that establishes boundary changes for three wilderness areas in Owyhee County. 

March 2019 - Lands Bill with Owyhee language

President Trump signs the S.47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act.  The Act contains Crapo's Owyhee language.  Credit: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead

“The collaboration among the Shoshone-Paiute tribes, recreational groups, conservationists, ranchers, local residents, elected leaders and others is working to preserve the cultural, environmental and economic future of those who have lived in Owyhee County for generations,” said Crapo.  “The changes signed into law today by President Trump reflect the original intent of the members of the Owyhee Initiative, and ensures those who have accessed public lands for generations in the Owyhees will continue to do so, while also continuing to maintain preservation measures.  President Trump’s signature on S. 47 is a major milestone, and I will continue to work with each of the local interests to ensure full and complete implementation of the Owyhee Initiative laws.” 

“These corrections to the wilderness boundaries, supported by all the members of the Owyhee Initiative, shows that collaboration in Idaho works,” said Craig Gehrke, Owyhee Initiative Board Member.  “Collaboration produces enduring, workable solutions.”  

"We have spent ten years proving the validity/benefits of this collaborative effort for Owyhee County and for Idaho by a group of citizens that wanted to further the ecological, social and economic goals of the county, the state as well as the nation,” said Chris Black, Owyhee County Rancher.  “With the passage of the Owyhee Wilderness Areas boundary modifications, the intent of the 2009 legislation has been clarified.”

The lands package includes the changes to the Owyhee wilderness area supported by area ranchers, conservationists and others involved with the Owyhee Initiative.  

Senator Crapo introduced the Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act in 2009 to provide a legal vehicle for a consensus agreement reached by various national, regional and local stakeholders, including state and federal agencies, to promote cultural, economic and environmental health in southwest Idaho.  It has reduced public lands conflicts and established a path for future management of the area in Owyhee County.  It created a model for collaborative land management. 

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