April 30, 2009

Owyhee Wilderness

It's being called a model for solving tough land management issues. In a special hour-long Dialogue, Marcia Franklin talks with members of a group that worked for eight years to figure out how to set aside both wilderness and multiple use areas in the Owyhee canyonlands of southern Idaho. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), and signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2009. Members discuss how they went from foes to friends, and how the plan will be implemented.

Guests include: Sen. Mike Crapo; Fred Grant, Owyhee Initiative Work Group; Craig Gehrke, Wilderness Society; Ted Howard, Shoshone-Paiute Tribes; Bill Taylor, Idaho State 4x4 Association; Brenda Richards, Owyhee Borderlands Trust.

The bill creates 517,000 acres of wilderness, releases 199,000 acres from wilderness study for multiple use purposes, and protects 316 miles of streams with the Wild and Scenic River designation. Certain grazing parcels will taken out of production through purchase or land trades, and access to some previously used roads will be closed. The legislation also authorizes a University of Idaho scientific review center and an independent grazing review process. Franklin and her guests will show maps of the area, discuss the pending changes, and learn more about the cooperative process used to reach a settlement.