Press Releases

CIEDRA: An Idaho Solution to Idaho Land Management

I began this process ten years ago after a meeting with ranchers. They were under the constant threat of losing their livelihoods because of lawsuits filed against them. I agreed to bring together county commissioners, recreationists, and conservationists to find long-term stability for all interested parties in the face of serious land management conflicts in this area.

For nearly a decade I have worked with Idahoans to solve land management issues in central Idaho.  In ten years, it’s easy for the facts to become distorted and the issues that prompted action in the first place to be overlooked. 

So let’s look at the facts.  CIEDRA is an Idaho solution crafted by Idahoans, not federal bureaucrats or outside interests—right down to compromising on which trails to close and which to keep open. 

For decades, Idaho’s congressional delegation has tried—and failed—to find a solution to the complicated issues in central Idaho because passions run high when it comes to deciding how to manage this land.  But eventually, lawsuits, ESA restrictions, and other conflicts forced all parties to reconsider the need to compromise.

I began this process ten years ago after a meeting with ranchers.  They were under the constant threat of losing their livelihoods because of lawsuits filed against them.  I agreed to bring together county commissioners, recreationists, and conservationists to find long-term stability for all interested parties in the face of serious land management conflicts in this area.

After working closely with the wide range of stakeholders for a decade, I feel more strongly than ever that the problems caused by the current status of the Boulder-White Clouds must be addressed.  If we leave things as they are, we give federal agencies free rein to cut off existing access or change land use policies at any time.  There is a real risk that the Obama Administration could unilaterally designate this area as a national monument, giving Idahoans no input into how the land on which they live and recreate is managed.

The stakeholders know these challenges can’t be ignored, and they’ve crafted an Idaho solution.  Each group has had to compromise, but they are standing behind this bill and the solutions it proposes. 

They have struck a delicate balance to solve complex issues, including conservation, recreation, and community development, and they have given the East Fork ranchers hope for the future.  Most importantly, they make sure that Idahoans have a say in land use decisions in our back yard.

Extremists on both sides of this issue may refuse to find middle ground, but for most Idahoans, this solution is one we can’t do without.

To learn more about CIEDRA, visit my website at www.simpson.house.gov/ciedra.