Republican Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth, the six-term legislator representing District 9, is one of the Idaho Legislature's main gatekeepers. As chairman of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee, a wide range of issues cross his desk before becoming bills or laws. Measures involving water rights, gas drilling and wolves all pass through his committee.
At this afternoon's Idaho Environmental Forum, Pearce hinted that the issue of grizzlies might surface in the 2012 Legislature.
"We see a lot more conflicts with grizzly bears now," said Pearce. "More bears are being killed and a lot of people want to consider some of the lands that Idahoans use where grizzlies live."
Pearce's counterpart in the Idaho House is Republican Rep. John Stevenson of Rupert, eight-term legislator from District 26, who is chairman of the House Resources and Conservation Committee.
"One of the more interesting things that you'll see is a proposal from Parks and Recreation," said Stevenson. "They're going to ask for a $10 vehicle registration for our state parks, but it would be entirely voluntary. They say it could generate as much as $1 million."