March 25, 2009

Statements on Passage of Owyhees Land Management bill

Compiled by Brenda Bielke, Conservation Associate

The following are statements by key Idaho conservation organization leaders in response to the House passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Bill of 2009, which contained the Owyhee Public Lands Management bill, protecting 517,000 acres and 316 river miles of the Owyhee Canyonlands with federal Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River status respectively, and preserving an Idaho way of life in Owyhee County.

“Recreationists of all types will appreciate the adequate and appropriate access that will enable them to enjoy their visits to the lands and rivers now protected as either wilderness or wild and scenic rivers in southwestern Idaho.”
Grant Simonds, Executive Director
Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association


"Thanks to the unwavering support from ICL members, Senator Crapo's office and all our partners, the pristine high desert landscapes and remote river canyons will be remain as they are to inspire future generations of Idahoans. Iconic wildlife such as bighorn sheep, sage grouse, redband trout, river otter, mule deer and mountain lions will always be able to call this spectacular wilderness home."
John Robison, Public Lands Director
Idaho Conservation League


"The collaborative process was long, and at times very difficult. But in the end we did good work for the rivers, the landscapes and the people of Owyhee County. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve been a part of in my life. I appreciate all the hard work of the Owyhee participants over the last seven years, and Sen. Mike Crapo and his staff who got it done in Congress."
Bill Sedivy, Executive Director
Idaho Rivers United


"Sierra Club has worked for nearly 30 years to protect this spectacular desert landscape. It is truly a historic day and it will be the first establishment of wilderness in Idaho for decades. Through collaboration and great effort, all of the the groups involved have helped to protect the Owyhee Canyonlands for future generations." Jessica Ruehrwein, Regional Representative
Sierra Club


"After more than eight years of hard work by all interests involved who want to see better land management and protection of public lands and an Idaho way of life, we are pleased to see the legislation move forward. We are committed to staying with the process even past the vote to ensure that the additional measures needed outside the legislation, such as acquisition of private land inholdings in wilderness and funding for a conservation center and science review, bring the Owyhee Agreement to fruition.
Craig Gehrke, Idaho Director
The Wilderness Society

Contact: Brenda Bielke, The Wilderness Society 208/343-8153 ext. 1

For more information, feel free to contact any one of the people on our contact page.