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Craig: Don't Hold Your Breath on CIEDRA

Boulder-White Clouds bill to get Senate hearing this month


The rugged path that the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill took to passage in the U.S. House of Representatives isn't likely to make its Senate path any easier.

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig said this week he expects to hold a hearing on U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act by the end of this month.

"It'll be a full-blown, detailed hearing," Craig promised. Depending on how that goes, he said, he might decide to initiate Idaho-based hearings on the matter as well.

But Craig said he wasn't expecting quick passage.

"There are several precedent-setting pieces of language that are unique to this bill," Craig said. "Those are starting to kick up some concern."

That's evident in Stanley, where at least one city councilor is re-thinking the city's support for the bill, according the the Idaho Mountain Express.

Craig said this is to be expected, given the multi-faceted nature of a bill that, he said, was getting changed all along the way.

"It was a work in progress right up until the morning of passage," Craig said.

One thing is clear: Craig isn't ready to position himself on the bill yet.

"I have not, nor will I take a position on it until we've completed all the details," Craig said.

As for Simpson, he has problems of his own: According to news reports, he got nailed for speeding in Bellevue last weekend. According to his office, he was backpacking in the Boulders.