Minnick Supports Simpson Wilderness Bill

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U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has tried for eight years to get his House counterpart from Idaho to support his bill to create three new wilderness areas in central Idaho. He finally got it Tuesday when Idaho's newest House member signed on.

Simpson, a Republican, and Democrat Walt Minnick introduced the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act on Tuesday, Minnick's first day as a member of the U.S. House.

The legislation is a carbon copy of the version Simpson pushed last year, but failed to get out of the House Committee on Natural Resources. It calls for creating more than 318,000 acres of new wilderness in the Boulder Mountains and White Cloud Peaks, as well as providing economic incentives and public land transfers to benefit Custer and Blaine counties.