If you're all confused on Idaho's roadless areas debate, you might want to watch NOW ON PBS at 7:30 p.m. Friday on Idaho Public Television.
A NOW ON PBS team traveled to southeastern Idaho recently to see how Idahoans interpret the 2001 rule created by President Bill Clinton's administration.
The rule protects about 9 million acres statewide in Idaho from most road-building, mining and logging. The policy affects U.S. Forest Service-managed roadless lands, which are outside formally designated wilderness areas.
The NOW ON PBS piece features interviews with ranchers, outdoorsmen and officials with the J.R. Simplot Company, which has phosphate mining interests in the area.
NOW ON PBS also talks with Mark Rey, undersecretary, natural resources and environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose
office oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Idaho Public Television provided aerial views of Caribou and Cache national forests for the broadcast.
I've hunted, fished and cross-country skied a lot of the Caribou and Cache country. I still remember the first four-point buck that I shot near the Idaho-Utah border.
That country has some pretty wild areas that need to be protected. The cutthroat fishing is pretty good, too.
Conservationists say that the Bush Administration's proposed roadless plan for Idaho could open millions of the state's roadless areas to road building, logging and mining.
Ongoing hearings are scheduled throughout Idaho on the future of these lands with hearings in Southwest Idaho beginning Monday in Cascade. Check out a previous blog on the schedule of those hearings.
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