Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Friday, May 27, 2005

FOOTHILLS CONSERVATION MEASURE INTRODUCED

Craig, Otter introduce bill to exchange public lands in Idaho

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter introduced legislation today involving key parcels of land from the Boise Foothills to North Idaho.

The legislation represents another step in the conservation of the Boise Foothills, a decades-long crusade for many residents. In May of 2001 the residents of Boise voted to tax themselves to provide funding to secure permanent public open space in the Boise Foothills. A critical component of the effort is a series of land exchanges to transfer State of Idaho land in the Foothills for federal land elsewhere in Idaho – a move that requires federal legislation.

Craig emphasized the benefits of the exchange, “This proposal gives Idahoans a unique chance to preserve the character of our communities and, as a result, provide for the education of our children. It truly is a win-win situation.”

“This is an agreement where everybody wins. The state of Idaho gets more timberland; the schools get more timber revenue; the people of the Boise area get more open space; and the state and federal agencies involved get a higher level of management efficiency,” Congressman Otter said. “Senator Craig, the Idaho Department of Lands, the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Boise, and everyone else involved deserve all the credit in the world for the benefits that everyone in Idaho will realize from this plan. I'm proud to be associated with it.”

Craig serves as chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, which has jurisdiction over this legislation. Otter serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

More information on the legislation is available on Senator Craig's website and www.idaholandexchange.net.

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