Idaho Legislators Support State Sovereignty
By Dan Rose
In support of Idaho State Sovereignty, both legislative houses voted to pass HJM 14. The Idaho House of Representatives in a (57-11-2) floor vote and the Idaho Senate in a majority voice vote, objected to the United States Congress imposing greater restriction on lands inside of Idaho borders.
The House Joint Memorial, HJM 14, identifies concerns related to various monument and wilderness designations as usurping the Idaho Roadless Rule, Idaho’s 2006 plan that provides a framework for use and protection of more than nine million acres of federal public backcountry.
The rule is viewed as a nationwide model of collaboration among groups and individuals with diverse interests and concerns. The Roadless Rule specifically prescribes protective management under the wild land recreation theme, and it is feared that utilization of the Antiquities Act for new national monument designations or further designation of wilderness by Congress would overturn the agreement reached in the formulation of the Idaho Roadless Rule, with no effort to reach consensus through coordination as required by federal law.
With 62 percent of Idaho lands classified as federal land and 110 million acres nationwide having been converted to wilderness designation, the strictest classification of federal land management, the Idaho Legislature penned opposition along party lines to federal monument and wilderness designations.
The Idaho legislature, recognizing state sovereignty issues, pushed back aggressively against the federal delegation to Congress and specifically Senator Jim Risch who desires to turn Island Park within legislative district 35 into national monument area as well as in legislative district 1, 13,960 acres of Bonner County mountain region into federal wilderness designation.
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