Rumor: Craig, Kempthorne, Otter to showboat about fire tomorrow

In contrast to the sensible position of Utah’s governor, rumor is Idaho’s three will show up tomorrow to talk about how the big rangefire was caused by not enough grazing and too many government regulations (on their buddies).

Note: as you can see from the comments below, they had their session today.







  1. be Avatar

    it happened this afternoon – i will have video of the press conference – it’s shotty but gets the job done

  2. kt Avatar

    BE is right, there was Press conference today with Craig, Crapo, Butch Otter and the Duck Valley Tribal Chairman. Kempthorne may be Idaho tomorrow.

    We can all go to sleep at night feeling a little better that Larry Craig and Butch Otter are worrying about calves stressed by the fire not putting on enough weight. You see, not only is it the direct loss to the ranchers – I actually do feel sorry for the cows sentenced to stand out in the baking sun all summer vulnerable to fires and in such large numbers that big ranchers can’t round them up and get them out of harm’s way – but to hear our elected officials worry about skinny calves when 50,000 people in Idaho don’t have enough food to eat is ridiculous.

    AND why are all of these fellows repeating in a loop more grazing, more grazing, more grazing will save us from fires?

    Folks should understand that over half the Jarbidge BLM lands are grazed by 1) billionaire Simplot (Otter’s ex-father-in-law), and at one point Butch said “I used to have a ranch out there”, and 2) various Bracketts who are very close to Larry Craig.

    AND an even bigger reason is just like Craig and others have used forest fires in the past to promote more logging, they are using sagebrush country fires to promote more grazing. There was much complaining about regulations and hurdles.

    They claimed the BLM could have stopped the fire at 5000 acres or so – if only there weren’t so many regulations. Well, after fires ranchers commonly complain about how BLM handled it. The regulations are in place to keep ranchers or others from doing things that might endanger firefighters – like setting backfires that might endanger firefighters or bulldozing cultural sites.

    Butch Otter once again outdid anyone’s expectations in coming up with the quote of the day. At the end of one of Otter’s “we need more grazing” rants, he said something like “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN A MANURE FIRE, HAVE YOU?” I think BE may be getting a You Tube up of that soon.

    The primary discussion of sage grouse, slickspot peppergrass, etc. was not in what could be done to restore habitat – but in tossing out blame – that there was no need for acres to have burned -i f only there had more grazing and fewer government rules – they need – and it is the same word that was droned at the Fish and Wildlife 10J Rule hearing in Boise – “more flexibility”.

  3. mikarooni Avatar

    I’m afraid that our only chance to see a manure fire would be if Butch somehow ignited.

  4. kt Avatar

    you never know what might happen around all that alcohol … wild turkey, jim beam, or Oh, maybe now it’s cuban rum?

  5. kt Avatar

    The Statesman has a VERY brief article posted on-line right now about Otter, Craig and Crapo criticizing federal fire policy.

    It contains another gem from the Idaho delegation. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, winning hearts and minds … Crapo said the following while sitting right next to the Duck Valley Tribal Chairman.

    “Do you have to have an anthropologist in front of a dozer blade so you
    don’t dare run over an arrow blade?” Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said.

    The article also states:

    “Crapo, Sen. Larry Craig and Gov. Butch Otter also blamed reduced cattle
    grazing on the size and intensity of the fire, which burned more than
    653,000 acres.”

    Yeah, like really??? It was more than blame. It was an incessant whine, No – more than a whine, like a repetitive grating recording specially designed and approved by Dick Cheney and John Yoo and Alberto Gonzalez for use in Gitmo.

    The irony is we taxpayers foot a huge part of the bill for fighting this fire, and have subsidized the Jarbidge cattle grazing that well before this fire was causing just about every species of native wildlife in the Jarbidge to crash, and all these fellows can do is criticize the Feds and the gol laws and lawsuits that ae keeping poor J. R. Simplot from stomping it all to dust to prevent fire.

    Oh, AND ALSO they made it clear at the Press Conference that they want Conservation Reserve Program Lands opened to Jarbidge cows – you know, the ones that are supposed to be set aside for wildlife habitat in eroding dryland wheat areas like the Arbon Valley or Curlew country or near Rockland south of American Falls (these are the areas I am most familiar with) to be opened up to the cows of the Jarbidge ranchers – meaning large numbers of J. R. Simplot welfare public lands cows could soon be dumped out on CRP lands that we taxpayers pay handsomely to have NOT FARMED and set aside for water shed protection, soil stabilization, and habitat for species like Columbia sharp-tailed grouse.

  6. Tim Z. Avatar
    Tim Z.

    “I’m afraid that our only chance to see a manure fire would be if Butch somehow ignited.”

    Now that’s funny!!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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