Owyhee Initiative brings hope

  As a graduate of the College of Idaho (Albertson College) I was excited and encouraged to read your recent article on the Owyhee Initiative (HCN, 12/8/03: Riding the middle path). The College of Idaho is only an hour from the wild landscape of the Owyhee Canyonlands. I spent many a weekend escaping into the rugged canyons and plateaus that make up this landscape, studying its unique geology and exploring its vast wild lands. I am excited to see both sides of this debate finally coming together, breaking down years of animosity to achieve common goals.

Ten years ago, on the campus of C of I, we tried to tackle many of the issues that the Owyhee Initiative is on its way to resolving, and while we fell short of a solution, I realized then that common ground could be found and solutions could be crafted. The Owyhee Initiative’s proposal is a major step forward. It will protect some of Idaho’s most spectacular wild lands and safeguard a rural way of life that has defined our state.

This is our chance and we should take it. The Owyhee Initiative has given me new hope — the same hope I felt as a student from the suburbs of Boise, talking about the future of Idaho’s wild country with a student from a ranch family in the Owyhees. It’s a feeling that perhaps everything is still possible.

Michael Carroll
Durango, Colorado