Monday, June 09, 2008

"Wild and Scenic" Snake could be a bipartisan effort

Some updates on my June 4 post about the differences between the Wyoming GOP platform and the Wyoming Dem platform....

The WYO GOP platform opposes "Wild and Scenic River" designation for the Snake. During its convention in Jackson May 23-24, the Wyoming Democrats did indeed approve a plank supporting this designation. While some may see this as a case of WyoDems being bewitched by the hoodoo of Jackson Hole tree-huggers and whitewater lovers, it's bigger than that. One of the Snake's champions was the state's late great conservative icon, Sen. Craig Thomas, who hardly ever hugged a tree. Said the Casper Star-Tribune in a June 3 editorial, "Wyo. GOP shows it's at odds with leaders:"

This stance [by the WYO GOP] ignores the fact that the late Republican Sen. Craig Thomas championed a bill to declare 387 miles of the Snake River system as wild and scenic. The bill, introduced by Thomas' successor, Sen. John Barrasso, and supported by GOP Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, is even named the Craig Thomas Snake Headwaters Legacy Act of 2008.

One of the major non-Wyoming opponents of this bill is Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, a member in good standing of the Flat Earth Society. He contends that a W&S Snake will cause Idaho to lose water rights, a claim that has been debunked almost as often as Sen. Craig has been in the headlines the past few years.

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