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House OKs resolution to reduce Idaho wilderness study areas

Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 19:29:41-05

BOISE — Legislation urging Congress to remove hundreds of thousands of acres from wilderness study area designation in Idaho has passed the House.

The House voted 50-20 on Monday to approve the joint memorial put forward by Republican Rep. Priscilla Giddings.

Wilderness study areas typically carry the same restrictions as wilderness areas. Idaho has about 540,000 acres of wilderness study areas tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Federal officials have listed some of those study areas as not being suitable for wilderness designation. Only Congress can lift the designation.

Giddings says those areas should be opened up to multiple uses.

Comments against the resolution included that it harmed collaborative processes in Idaho and that it could lead to more wilderness designation in the state by tacitly approving land suitable for wilderness.