Idaho roadless plan is good but it needs tweaking, Risch says

Idaho’s roadless plan is good but it needs tweaking, Risch says. He says it needs to further restrict logging, but conservationists say that revision is not enough. Idaho Statesman. By Erika Bolstad.

This roadless area plan was developed by Risch in 2006 while he was briefly governor. He was one of just a few governors who took up Bush’s offer to states to let them resolve the roadless area issue (subject to Bush Administration approval). Most governors preferred President Clinton’s total protection plan.

The Administration’s final approval was for a modified plan that provided significantly less protection than Risch had proposed (more logging). Now Risch is running for the U.S. Sentate to replace Larry Craig (his Democratic opponent will be Larry LaRocco, a former Idaho congressman).




  1. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I know this is a technicality and somewhat trivial at this point, but I want to say that the bulk of Idaho’s roadless plan was developed during 2005 when Kempthorne was in office. The chief architect of the plan was Jim Caswell. As a Master’s student at BSU at the time, one of my classes was actually to develop and then lead a process that would have influenced the creation of the plan by involving more and open public input, but state leaders balked, presumably because they did not really want to know what the public wanted in its roadless plan. If there is interest, I would be happy to describe the process that we hoped to use in more detail, though I will say, it was a collaborative process…

    I say this because it is interesting to note with a bit of time as perspective how stories in the press change or get simplified. To note, Gov. Otter is oft quoted as saying in his infamous January 07 rally regarding wolves that it was the state’s intention to manage down to the minimum levels. While he did in fact say he wanted to be the first to bid for a ticket to kill the first wolf in Idaho, he never explicitly stated to the public gathered at the time that the state would manage to the minimum level. He said a lot of other things, but not that (I was there standing next to Rick Hobson).

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Please do elaborate. It is good to have an accurate public record of these things.

    I know that academic endeavors, far superior to common political discourse, are rarely seen by the public. As a result the policy narratives created by interest groups becomes the accepted version of things.

    I will make it a post, rather than a comment, if you are interested in doing this.

  3. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Ralph – I just sent you an email on this.


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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Ralph Maughan