Voting for/against Wilderness

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.

1 thought on “Voting for/against Wilderness”

  1. If it’s the county whose people would be most affected by Wilderness designation,,, I personally would give their wishes a lot of weight. The people most affected by any conservation action should be given outsized weight in making decisions about that action. I’m paraphrasing from Peter Kareiva and his ideas on New Conservation.


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