Simpson Optimistic About Wilderness Bill

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There's a solid chance that the Boulder Mountains will contain federally designated wilderness when the sun sets on the scenic peaks north of Ketchum for the last time in 2009.

…"I firmly believe it will be in the next lands bill," he said.

Simpson, who was the original sponsor of the legislation, called the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA), made his comments during the Idaho Conservation League's annual Wild Idaho conference at Redfish Lake over the weekend. Simpson has been attending the ICL conference for about a decade.

…This year, Simpson was joined at the Wild Idaho conference by his colleague in the U.S. House of Representatives, first-term Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho.

Simpson and Minnick have reintroduced CIEDRA into Congress as co-sponsors. It seems likely that having a Democrat as a co-sponsor in the Democrat-controlled Congress may give the wilderness legislation better momentum, an observation the two legislators noted.