Owyhee initiative ignores majority interest

  The HCN article on the Owyhee Initiative was superficial, misleading and omitted several key points (HCN, 12/8/03: Riding the middle path). None of the ostensibly green groups at the table is fighting for what is best for this ecosystem: real wilderness on a big enough scale for native wildlife to flourish. The Idaho Conservation League, The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy ignore the reality that land with more cattle troughs, fencing and pipelines is not true wilderness. Instead, this process has degenerated to a sellout so they can cynically proclaim that they obtained "wilderness designation" in Idaho for the first time in over 20 years.

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
Boise, Idaho
High Country News Classifieds
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Central Colorado Conservancy, located in Salida, Colorado, is seeking a Conservation Program Manager dedicated to managing the Conservancy's land protection program which includes developing and...
  • PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a candidate with excellent communication skills and a commitment to environmental conservation for the position of Public Lands Program Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia, CO, seeks a dynamic leader who is mission-driven, hardworking, and a creative problem-solver. WSCC is committed to creating...
  • PLANNED GIVING OFFICER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks a Planned Giving Officer. Do you find energy in...
  • NORTHERN NEW MEXICO PROJECT MANAGER
    Seeking qualified Northern New Mexico Project Manager to provide expertise, leadership and support to the organization by planning, cultivating, implementing and managing land conservation activities,...
  • REGIONAL TRAIL STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with trail maintenance and volunteer engagement...
  • TRAIL CREW MEMBER
    Position Title: Trail Crew Member Position Type: 6 month seasonal position, April 17-October 15, 2023 Location: Field-based; The RFOV office is in Carbondale, CO, and...
  • CEO BUFFALO NATIONS GRASSLANDS ALLIANCE
    Chief Executive Officer, Remote Exempt position for Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance is responsible for the planning and organization of BNGA's day-to-day operations
  • IDAHO DIRECTOR - WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT
    Western Watersheds Project seeks an Idaho Director to continue and expand upon WWP's campaign to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in Idaho, with...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Development Director to join our team in supporting and furthering our mission. This position will create...
  • DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Operations Director to join our team. This position will provide critical organizational and systems support to...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is seeking a leader to join our dynamic team in the long-term protection of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). We...
  • GRASSLAND RESEARCH COORDINATOR
    The Grassland Research Coordinator is a cooperative position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that performs and participates in and coordinates data collection for...
  • "PROFILES IN COURAGE: STANDING AGAINST THE WYOMING WIND"
    13 stories of extraordinary courage including HCN founder Tom Bell, PRBRC director Lynn Dickey, Liz Cheney, People of Heart Mountain, the Wind River Indian Reservation...
  • GRANT WRITER
    JOB DESCRIPTION: This Work involves the responsibility of conducting research in the procurement of Federal, State, County, and private grant funding. Additional responsibilities include identifying...
  • ASPIRE COLORADO SUSTAINABLE BODY AND HOME CARE PRODUCTS
    Go Bulk! Go Natural! Our products are better for you and better for the environment. Say no to single-use plastic. Made in U.S.A., by a...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in the natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau, with lodge and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.
  • LUNATEC HYDRATION SPRAY BOTTLE
    A must for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cools, cleans and hydrates with mist, stream and shower patterns. Hundreds of uses.
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.