Your spin referring to cowboys as "kings" and giving up a portion of their "kingdom" does a grave disservice to the 280 million Americans who actually own these lands, many of whom undoubtedly would be opposed to the giveaway of their legacy if they were aware of this phony collaborative process.
Finally, from a taxpayer’s perspective, it makes no sense to spend hundreds of thousands of federal dollars on fencing, pipelines and other range structures on grazing allotments that generate only a few thousand dollars in lease payments annually for the U.S. Treasury, with livestock grazing continuing to damage irreplaceable streams, uplands and wildlife.
Rather than propping up extractive interests which are fading, Idaho’s politicians should look to the future, and help secure meaningful protection on behalf of all Americans for these large-scale wild areas that can provide revenues from hunting, fishing, birdwatching and pack trips. To the enviros at the table, I say: Abandon this travesty, work for regime change in Washington, and seek national exposure and support for real wilderness designation for the Owyhees and Idaho’s other wild areas.
Debra K. Ellers