Omnibus public lands bill carries Craig's water

In October, Ralph commented on Larry Craig dropping his opposition to protecting the Snake River in Wyoming.  A change of heart from an Idaho politician renowned for his anti-environmentalist zeal ?  Not quite.  The bill is lumped with a bunch of bills in the massive Omnibus public lands bill.  The motivation for Craig’s “turnabout” is perhaps made more clear with a blog post Rocky Barker wrote that I missed but is worth posting even a week later.  Craig has slapped onto the bill $3 million for the environmental & economic studies necessary to initiate new dams on the Snake, Boise, and Payette rivers, including the potential to rebuild the historic Teton Dam :

Craig leaves water studies hidden in omnibus billLetter from the West, Rocky Barker

Craig himself put out an editorial in November outlining all the good things he included in the omnibus bill including compensation for ranchers who lose livestock to wolves, more thinning of national forests to reduce wildfire danger and even the Wyoming bill he first opposed. But he left out the authorization of the water feasibility studies.

Remember, the Omnibus public lands bill is the legislation in which Idaho Senator Crapo has similarly lumped the Owyhee Initiative, a big “W” Wilderness bill that designates already largely inaccessible to development canyons “Wilderness” in exchange for lots of goodies that help keep some of the most abusive public land livestock ranchers in the west beating surrounding public lands to the dirt/mud.

The Omnibus bill is expected to be re-introduced without debate in the near future.

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Addition by Ralph Maughan 12/30. The Idaho Statesman just printed an editorial opposing reopening discussion of rebuilding the collapsed Teton Dam.” . . .  on Sen. Larry Craig’s Legacy. Our View: Discussing new Teton Dam is unwise, insensitive. “Idaho Statesman.

You Tube video of Teton Dam collapse. June 1976


  1. Salle Avatar

    So this seems to be Senator Widestance’s way of thanking his constituents? He always has been one of the “temper-tantrum” brigade, and so he is to the bitter end. Is it really any wonder?

  2. kt Avatar

    Good grainy footage of the dam collapse.

    Here is a Dec 26 th article on this I just fund, too. It says “Craig’s proposal was so secret that Idaho Department of Water Resources Director David Tuthill said he was unaware of the idea. But he had talked to the delegation about getting funding for water studies”.

    So what is going on here? Larry Craig goes into some deep dark secret Senate restroom, cuts a deal with someone, and adds 3 million to this Omnibus Bill that already contains pork in the Crapo’s Owyhee Initiative legislation? The OI sets up a perennial tax dollar sink and black hole like federal funding for a so-called “science” center that will really be about ranchers lying about ecological science, and trying to find excuses to cove up their destruction of the public lands.

    How many other hidden and unpublished additions and costly pork have been tacked onto this disaster of a Bill? Does anyone know where the version Craig tacked 3 million on to can be found in its entirety? What lue Dog Democrats allowed him to do this?

    This Omnibus Bill needs to die, and if any of the who knows how many Bills bound up in it are so meritorious, they need to stand on their own two feet, and go through full hearings in the Senate and the House. And the full cost of all to taxpayers must be laid out.

  3. Salle Avatar

    According to many geologists, the Teton dam was a bad idea from the start and some, with whom I am acquainted, warned against it and loudly. But those “third generation irrigators” insisted that it was their god-given right to have those dams put in… environment be damned, all pun intended.

    Craig has always been concerned for his own perks-lined pockets and little else, so long as he can feed at the public trouph…

    I’ll bet the original bill would be pretty hard to find, better chase the shredding machine disposal crew…

    I wonder how one can have the opportunity to present this travesty to the public and their representatives in order for these things to be exposed… heaven knows the corporate media won’t do it for fear of retribution or???

  4. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    If there is one government embarrassment from Idaho more greasy, slimy,covered in honeywagon dew more than Dick Kempthorne it is Ol’ Wide Stance

  5. Salle Avatar

    I think they use the same stall…

  6. Salle Avatar

    interesting OpEd in the Idaho Statesman today:

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Brian Ertz