Hailing today's unanimous ruling from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Idaho's national forest roadless rule, GOP Sen. Jim Risch, who helped draft the measure, called the legislation a plan "written by idahoans, for Idahoans."
"Working with groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited, along with many other stakeholders, we crafted the only state plan in the nation that protects our land and helps rural communities," Risch said this morning.
The three-judge panel rejected an appeal from the Wilderness Society, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and other environmental groups.
"The inclusive, thorough, and transparent process resulting in the challenged rule conformed to the demands of the law and is free of legal error," wrote the 9th Circuit in today's ruling.
The roadless rule covers more than 9 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in Idaho.
The Idaho Falls Post-Register reports the U.S. Forest Service is considering selling the Island Park District Office.
According to Assistant Forest Engineer Steve Jenkins, the office is used by the public to pick up firewood and Christmas tree permits for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, but staff feel those services could be consolidated at another location.
The forest's headquarters are in Idaho Falls, and district offices are in Ashton, Driggs, Dubois, Island Park, Montpelier, Pocatello and Soda Springs. The public is invited to comment on the proposal through Friday, Jan. 11.
When a small plane headed to McCall took off from a dirt roadway in central Idaho, the four men on board pulled out their video cameras to record the flight.
However, their seven-minute video ended up chronicling a plane crash that left the pilot, Les Gropp, with broken ribs and a fractured cheekbone. After the plane began to lose altitute, it clipped the tops of pine trees before crashing to the ground.
All passengers were safe, with Gropp's injuries the most severe. One passenger, Nathan Williams, told the Associated Press they all went back to work on Monday.
The video below shows the crash from two different angles, a record of just how close a call the four survived.
An Idaho man fell 1,100 feet to his death while mountain climbing in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park on July 22.
A park spokesman told the Associated Press that 27-year-old Justin Beldin of Victor had reached the 12,800-foot summit of Middle Teton and was beginning to descend when the accident occurred. Beldin's death is the fourth backcountry fatality in Grand Teton National Park this summer.
The Middle Teton is one of the most popular climbs in the Teton Range. Park officials said Beldin was not wearing a helmet during his climb.
Rep. Mike Simpson told the BW Editorial Board (Features Editor Deanna Darr, News Editor Nathaniel Hoffman and a dozen untouched DK Donuts) this morning that he does not think the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, including proposed wilderness in the Owyhee Canyonlands, will pass the House any time soon.
After nearly eight years, the Owyhee Initiative is nearing a final vote in Congress.
The initiative, turning more than 500,000 acres of the Owyhee Canyonlands in southwestern Idaho into wilderness, and adding hundreds of miles of wild and scenic river designations, is part of the larger Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 approved by the Senate earlier this week.
It is now before the House of Representatives, and Sen. Mike Crapo, longtime sponsor of the Owyhee Initiative, said he hopes for a vote within the next two weeks.
If the House passes the bill without changes, it will head for President Barack Obama's desk for final approval. If there are changes, Senate supporters of the bill will face the threat of continued filibusters.
The initiative has had it’s many supporters and detractors over the years, something Boise Weekly will be taking a closer look at in the coming weeks. Check back in a few weeks to see how ranchers and conservationists managed to agree on something.