We (speaking for ourselves and not our respective boards) endorse Mike Simpson’s SNRA-Plus legislation. It offers wilderness level protection for much of the Boulder-White Clouds region and some mitigation to Custer County for the impacts. We urge the U.S. House and Senate to pass it soon, as proposed, resisting the urge to tack on a lot of extraneous nonsense. If they do, we believe the president will sign it.
SNRA-Plus is an outgrowth of CIEDRA, which took years and virtually unlimited stakeholder input to write. It never passed the Congress, but SNRA-Plus is its successor and likely the last, best hope for this kind of legislation. Is it perfect? No, but nothing ever is and the desire – by all sides – to make CIEDRA perfect or just go away is what killed it.
Based on a broad range of public sentiment pro and con, we believe a legislative solution to conservation protection for the region is preferable to a presidential national monument designation, for many reasons. We think that is likely if SNRA-Plus fails.
While Blaine County and Custer County are perceived not to agree on much, we recognize some common interests. When we commissioners can stand together or work together in the public interest, we should.
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Larry Schoen, Blaine County commissioner and Wayne Butts, Custer County commissioner