It's back

  For the fourth time, the U.S. Air Force has released its draft environmental impact statement for a new electronic combat and bombing range in the Owyhee Canyonlands of southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Air Force currently makes 7,500 sonic and subsonic annual flights over the Owyhee Canyonlands. The Air Force says the new range would enhance the capability of its bomber, fighter, tanker and reconnaissance aircraft stationed at Idaho's Mountain Home Air Force Base. The plan calls for thousands of additional low-level flights over the Owyhee Canyonlands, the expansion of the flight area, and the withdrawal of 12,000 acres of public lands solely for military use. The Owyhee Canyonlands Coalition, which has defeated the Air Force's reworked proposal three times, is concerned about the flights' effects on wild lands, solitude and wildlife, especially bighorn sheep. A series of public hearings on the draft EIS will be held the first two weeks in June. For a copy of the draft EIS, contact the U.S. Air Force/BLM, P.O. Box 329, Boise, ID 83701-0329. For the hearing schedule, contact The Wilderness Society, 413 W. Idaho, Ste. 102, Boise, ID 83702 (208/343-8153).


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