“When Bonner County residents went to the polls yesterday, they had the opportunity to decide whether or not nearly 13,960-acres in Idaho should be designated as the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness area. Definitively, the community rejected this proposal. In a recent editorial, I wrote that I would honor the outcome of this election, regardless of the decision, and I intend to do so. I will not reintroduce the Scotchman Peaks legislation. I thank those who have been involved in educating the community on the proposal, and I applaud the Bonner County Commissioners for bringing the proposal to me and allowing Idahoans to voice their opinion on this important issue.”
Background: At the urging of the Bonner County Commissioners and the Friends of Scotchman Peaks, Senator Risch introduced legislation in December 2016 to designate nearly 13,960-acres in Idaho as wilderness. He introduced the legislation to start a conversation and to get a better sense of where Idahoans stood on the idea of a wilderness designation. Risch’s office hosted numerous open houses to allow the community to voice their opinions. Ultimately, Risch stated that it was up to the community to decide whether or not the proposal advanced. He will honor the outcome of the election in the Senate.