Seriously. Bonner County, Idaho is holding an advisory vote on whether its residents want the Scotchman Peaks area to be designated as Wilderness. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, has indicated he will follow the advisory vote result.
One one hand, this is a good way to get information about policy preferences that opinion polls and candidate elections may not. But really, how much weight should one county’s vote carry in making decisions about national forests?
Here’s a detailed fact-check developed to help voters. Importantly, this area has been recommended for Wilderness in the Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai revised forest plans. Watch for the results of the referendum on the May 15 primary ballot.