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Updated: July 12th, 2010 12:06 PM

CIEDRA suffers another blow

Co-sponsor voices his opposition to the wilderness bill

By :KATHERINE WUTZ

Senator Jim Risch has voiced his opposition to the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, the wilderness bill he is co-sponsoring in the Senate.

Risch had previously supported the bill, bringing it to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June. Since then, however, Risch has stated that he only co-sponsored it as a favor to fellow Congress member Rep. Mike Simpson, the bill’s main author.

"I'm not going to vote for the bill in the form that it is in," Risch said. "It needs more work. When that work is done, I will make a new judgment whether I would vote for the bill."

Risch remains co-sponsor of the bill, but has stated that he does not support changes made in negotiations between the Senate committee, Simpson and Senator Mike Crapo, the bill’s other Senate co-sponsor.

CIEDRA would create 332,775 acres of new wilderness, much of it from the Sawtooth and Challis National Forests. Approximately 35 miles of trails would be closed to bikers, including the Grand Prize Trail and the Warm Springs Creek Trail, though the Germania Creek Trail would remain open for multiple use.

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