There is setting up a very interesting situation between the Idaho Legislature and U.S. Sen. James Risch’s office regarding the “wilderness designation” issue, which will appear on Bonner County’s May 15 primary ballot.
On Feb. 12, 2018, the Idaho Legislature presented agreement in Senate Joint Resolution, SJM 103, to “oppose any new federal national monument designations or further designations of wilderness in the state of Idaho.” Further, the federal delegation, Sen. Risch specifically, is being “urged to oppose a designation of wilderness …” that comes to pass by “unilateral administrative process that excludes the residents of the state of Idaho.”
If the corrupt process that alienated Clark Fork’s local participation for years was not enough to dismiss the creation of a “wilderness designation,” the alignment of the Idaho House and Senate in opposition should cause enough motivation for voters of Bonner County to vote no, or, against the “wilderness designation,” which will appear on the back side of the May 15 primary ballot.
The clear message of the Senate Joint Resolution, SJM 103, is to limit federal imposition and seizure of Idaho lands into perpetuity by administrative action at the federal level. With 48 percent of Idaho lands being under the control of the federal agencies, and only 13 percent of county lands being developable, push-back to permanent seizure of Idaho lands is appropriate and worthy.