2001 Legislation
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SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 102 – Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands


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SJM102.........................................by RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
OWYHEE-BRUNEAU CANYONLANDS - Stating findings of the Legislature and urging
that the President of the United States refuse to designate Owyhee-Bruneau
Canyonlands National Monument without input and consultation with
representatives of state and local governments and the people in Idaho.
02/06    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/07    Rpt prt - to 10th Ord
02/08    10th Ord - ADOPTED - Voice Vote
    Title apvd - to House
02/09    House intro - 1st rdg - to Res/Con
02/22    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/23    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/28    3rd rdg - ADOPTED - 67-0-3
      AYES -- Barraclough, Barrett, Bedke, Bell, Bieter, Black, Boe, Bolz,
      Bradford, Callister, Campbell, Chase, Clark, Collins, Crow, Cuddy,
      Deal, Denney, Ellis, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(13), Field(20),
      Gagner, Gould, Hadley, Hammond, Harwood, Henbest, Higgins, Hornbeck,
      Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg, Kendell, Kunz, Lake, Langford, Loertscher,
      Mader, Marley, McKague, Meyer, Montgomery, Moss, Moyle, Pearce,
      Pischner, Pomeroy, Raybould, Ridinger, Roberts, Robison, Sali,
      Schaefer, Sellman, Shepherd, Smith, Smylie, Stevenson, Stone, Tilman,
      Trail, Wheeler, Wood, Young, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Bruneel, Mortensen, Swan
    Floor Sponsor -- Field(20)
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/01    To enrol
03/02    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/05    Sp signed
03/06    To Secretary of State

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-sixth Legislature                  First Regular Session - 2001
                                       IN THE SENATE
                               SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 102
  1                                   A JOINT MEMORIAL
  5        We, your Memorialists, the Senate and the House of Representatives of  the
  6    State of Idaho assembled in the First Regular Session of the Fifty-sixth Idaho
  7    Legislature, do hereby respectfully represent that:
  8        WHEREAS,  special  interest  groups  requested the President of the United
  9    States to designate an Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands National Monument in  Owyhee
 10    County, Idaho, during the last days of the past presidential administration, a
 11    designation  which  would include over two million federal acres, and hundreds
 12    of thousands of acres of state land as  well  as  private  land,  in  an  area
 13    including more than one-half the land mass of Owyhee County; and
 14        WHEREAS,  the  state  of  Idaho  has  been greatly affected by such recent
 15    actions  as the Craters of the Moon National Monument expansion; and
 16        WHEREAS, the history of national monuments and other special  designations
 17    for  preservation purposes, demonstrates that their administration and manage-
 18    ment results in closure of road access, elimination of  specific  recreational
 19    uses, elimination of mining, and, through administrative regulations, restric-
 20    tion  of all other recreational and permitted uses to a point of near elimina-
 21    tion; and
 22        WHEREAS, the land within the proposed Owyhee Canyonland National  Monument
 23    is currently in sound ecological condition under the existing private and pub-
 24    lic management; and
 25        WHEREAS,  designation  of  the  monument would remove the affected federal
 26    lands from the multiple use mandates of Congress and  place  them  under  more
 27    restrictive administration as a monument where management can adversely impact
 28    livestock grazing that is key to the local economy of the county, block access
 29    to and use of water rights held as private property rights, eliminate the eco-
 30    nomic  viability  of  vested mining claims, and deny thousands of citizens the
 31    opportunity to recreationally use, enjoy and benefit from the land; and
 32        WHEREAS, the National Environmental Policy Act mandates that environmental
 33    policy decisions which affect the quality of the human  environment,  such  as
 34    designation  of a Canyonlands National Monument, be subjected to public review
 35    and public input, and federal laws governing the management of  federal  lands
 36    require  consultation  with  affected  state and local governments before such
 37    decisions are made; and
 38        WHEREAS, the groups seeking this designation have not consulted  with  and
 39    have  not sought input from the Idaho Legislature, the State Land Board or the
 40    Governor of Idaho, even though hundreds of thousands of acres  of  state  land
 41    would  be affected, and have not consulted with and have not sought input from
 42    the Board of County Commissioners of Owyhee County or the citizens  of  Owyhee
 43    County  who own private property, and property rights which would be affected,
 44    and have not consulted with and have not sought input from  the  thousands  of
  1    citizens  of  Idaho who use, enjoy and benefit from recreational opportunities
  2    which would be affected; and
  3        WHEREAS, former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, has  previously  com-
  4    mitted  to  officials  of the State of Idaho, to the members of the delegation
  5    representing the State of Idaho in the United States Congress, and to the cit-
  6    izens of Idaho that such  monument  designations  will  not  be  made  without
  7    advance state and local input; and
  8        WHEREAS,  the  uniqueness of the Owyhee Canyonlands has been maintained in
  9    coexistence with multiple uses of the federal lands and continuing stewardship
 10    of adjoining state and private lands, and this successful  coexistence  demon-
 11    strates no necessity, or even desirability, for designation of a national mon-
 12    ument; and
 13        WHEREAS,  if  there had been consultation with the state and local govern-
 14    ments, and if there had been public review and input as to the requested  des-
 15    ignation, the evidence presented by state and local officials and the citizens
 16    of  Owyhee County and Idaho would demonstrate that the unique qualities of the
 17    Canyonlands have coexisted, and can continue to coexist, with multiple uses of
 18    the federal lands and with existing stewardship of  state  and  private  lands
 19    within  the  area, that there is no necessity for designating a national monu-
 20    ment and that an unnecessary designation would adversely impact state and pri-
 21    vate land and the interests of the citizens of Owyhee County and Idaho; and
 22        WHEREAS, rural Idaho has benefited little from recent prosperity, in part,
 23    due to increasing restriction of access to and economic  use of federal lands,
 24    the designation of a national monument over half of Owyhee County would devas-
 25    tate the rural economy that is dependent on the  coexisting  economic  use  of
 26    private, state and federal land; and
 27        WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, Assessor and Treasurer of Owy-
 28    hee County have warned the former President of the United States that designa-
 29    tion  of  the  requested  monument  would severely harm the revenue base which
 30    funds local government services to the people of Owyhee County, would severely
 31    harm ranchers and their families whose livelihood is dependent upon  livestock
 32    grazing,  would  adversely impact private property rights in water, mining and
 33    access, would adversely impact the social and  cultural  cohesiveness  of  the
 34    communities in the affected area, and would severely restrict citizens' recre-
 35    ation use and enjoyment of, and benefit from, land in the proposed site; and
 36        WHEREAS,  the  Sheriff of Owyhee County has warned the former President of
 37    the United States that restriction of access  on  the  hundreds  of  miles  of
 38    county  roads,  as well as RS 2477 rights-of-way, located in the affected site
 39    will adversely impact law enforcement and search and rescue  operations,  thus
 40    adversely impacting the public health and safety; and
 41        WHEREAS,  the  Idaho Fish and Game Commission has followed with great con-
 42    cern proposals to expand or designate new national monuments in Idaho  because
 43    of  the  potential  impact  for loss of hunting, trapping, wildlife management
 44    activities and local decision-making in areas under consideration for national
 45    monument status, in particular the Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands; and
 46        WHEREAS, the Owyhee Canyonlands provide a tremendous  amount  of  hunting,
 47    fishing  and  outdoor recreation opportunities adjacent to the largest popula-
 48    tion center in the state. The area provides habitat for a variety of fish  and
 49    wildlife  including  sage  grouse,  chukar,  redband  trout, small mouth bass,
 50    pronghorn antelope, mule deer, elk, bobcat and mountain lion; and
 51        WHEREAS, the Owyhee area proposal encompasses virtually the  entire  range
 52    of California bighorn sheep in Idaho. This population was reestablished in the
 53    Owyhees through a series of transplants, research projects and intensive moni-
 54    toring,  beginning  in  1963.  This wildlife conservation success story is the
 55    result of a significant long-term  investment  by  sheep  hunters,  the  Idaho
  1    Department of Fish and Game, the Bureau of Land Management, the Foundation for
  2    North American Wild Sheep and, more recently, the United States Air Force; and
  3        WHEREAS,  under current BLM management, local decision-making allows for a
  4    variety of activities and  conservation  measures.  These  activities  include
  5    hunting,  fishing,  trapping,  fish  and wildlife research and monitoring, and
  6    wildlife management, including bighorn sheep transplants; and
  7        WHEREAS, it is imperative that these activities and the associated manage-
  8    ment that have worked so well to date be able to continue  without  additional
  9    regulatory  constraints  or  impediments.  Public access, recreational activi-
 10    ties, and other resource uses, such as grazing, have been coordinated success-
 11    fully with wildlife programs and the present formula for success  should  con-
 12    tinue.
 13        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session
 14    of  the Fifty-sixth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Representa-
 15    tives concurring therein, that we respectfully request that the  President  of
 16    the United States refuse to designate the requested Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands
 17    National  Monument  without prior consultation with the Governor of Idaho, the
 18    State Land Board, the Idaho Legislature, and  local  government  officials  in
 19    Owyhee County, and without subjecting the request to public review and input.
 20        BE  IT  FURTHER  RESOLVED  that the Secretary of the Senate be, and she is
 21    hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this Memorial to the Pres-
 22    ident of the United States, the Secretary of Interior, the  President  of  the
 23    Senate  and  the  Speaker of the House of Representatives of Congress, and the
 24    congressional delegation representing the State of Idaho in  the  Congress  of
 25    the United States.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                     STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                            RS 1O659C2

A memorial opposing the national monument designation of the
"Owyhee Canyonlands"

                          FISCAL IMPACT


      Name:  Senator Robbi Barrutia
      Phone: 3321347