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Great Seal of the State of Idaho

C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER
GOVERNOR

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2017
17:032

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100

 

 

 

GOVERNOR WELCOMES OROGRANDE COMMUNITY PROTECTION PROJECT RULING

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter hailed a federal magistrate’s recent decision denying a motion from Friends of the Clearwater to block the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed Orogrande Community Protection Project on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

The project includes logging in strategic areas adjacent to the north-central Idaho community of Orogrande to reduce the threat of wildfire and improve overall forest health in the area. A portion of the project is within the West Fork Crooked River Roadless Area. The Idaho Roadless Commission previously determined that the project was consistent with the Idaho Roadless Rule developed by then-Governor Jim Risch, now a member of the U.S. Senate.

Governor Otter intervened in the Friends of the Clearwater lawsuit in February to help the Forest Service defend the Orogrande project. Attorneys for the Governor, the Forest Service and the Idaho Association of Counties successfully argued that the project is consistent with the Idaho Roadless Rule and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Governor applauded the May 31 ruling by U.S. Magistrate Ronald Bush, who agreed that the conservation group did not show that the project was inconsistent with the law.

“I am very pleased with the court’s decision,” Governor Otter said. “As we approach another fire season in Idaho, this means the Forest Service can move forward with implementing wildfire mitigation measures that will help protect the resource as well as the nearby community and visitors to the area.”

Large forest fires have threatened the community of Orogrande in recent years, including the 2007 Rattlesnake Fire and the 2012 McGuire Fire. The Forest Service project will help reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfire and create defensible space near the community.

“The Forest worked very hard on this project and I’m pleased with the judge’s decision,” Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert said. “We also greatly appreciate the support of the Governor’s Office, Idaho Association of Counties and the local Orogrande community.”

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