Rep. Mike Simpson released details of his new Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act today with a website.
I'm working on a detailed story for Sunday with the map and reaction from key players. But here are some of the basics:
As before, three new wilderness areas would be created totaling 295,960 acres. The total wilderness acreage would be reduced by 36,968 acres from the original CIEDRA bill that would have created wilderness of 332,928 acres. The big news is that no roads that are currently open to vehicles or trails that are currently open to two-wheeled motorized use would be closed.
All areas currently open to mountain bikes outside of the proposed wilderness will remain open. But that would negate a deal between preservationists and mountain bikers that would have opened Ants Basin and the Castle Divide Trail to mountain bikes.
Grazing: Ranchers with allotments on the SNRA would be allowed to voluntarily retire their grazing permits and be eligible for compensation from a third-party conservation group. Any retired grazing permits would be closed to future grazing. East Fork ranchers are on board.
Generally, environmentalists and mountain bikers like a national monument better. Other groups like Simpson's bill as the lesser of two evils. Stay tuned.