Friday, August 27, 2010

Crapo announces first Owyhee land acquisitions

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, the Republican who spearheaded creation of 517,000 acres of federal wilderness in the Owyhee canyons last year, announced on Thursday the purchase of 971 acres of private inholdings from ranchers. No price was disclosed. The deal includes more than a mile of the North Fork Owyhee River, located just east of the Oregon-Idaho border, that will be available for fishing, hiking and habitat protection. That 611-acre property has belonged to Owyhee County rancher Mike Hanley. Environmental groups said the acquisition helps ensure the integrity of the wilderness and removes roadblocks for public access into some of the nation's most remote country. "This is an important first step in achieving the greater goal for the completion of the wilderness in the Owyhees," said David Kirk, of The Wilderness Land Trust, a group that acquires unprotected private land within wilderness and returns it to public ownership. Kirk's Colorado-based group, with The Nature Conservancy, are assisting with the transfers and plan to shift ownership to the Bureau of Land Management. Earlier this month, Crapo announced the Bureau of Land Management had set aside $2 million for land purchases included in his Owyhee Initiative...more

No comments: