Gene Bray and Irene Wright of Meridian, Idaho, stopped by the HCN office just before Election Day with an insiders' view of Idaho politics.
Bray is a board
member of the Idaho Watersheds Project, well known in the state for
its confrontational anti-grazing billboards. The 900-member group
aims to give state grazing allotments a break from cows by
acquiring available leases, but so far it's been a losing
The group's bid of $2,000 for one
allotment was turned down in favor of a rancher's offer of $10,
says Bray, and the state Legislature passed a bill in 1995 to
prevent environmental groups from getting their hands on state
Reached at home after the vote, Bray says
a successful ballot initiative has made his job even harder. House
Joint Resolution 6 removes the requirement for competitive bidding
on allotments and allows the state land board to extend grazing
"There are no rules anymore
- it's totally at the discretion of the land board," he says.
"We're in for some really tough sledding."
says that now the group may shift almost all of its efforts toward
federal grazing allotments. "We're out of the (state) ball game,"
he says, "but we've got our work cut out for us with the BLM and
the Forest Service." - Michelle