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Forum Celebrates Decade-Long Owyhee Management Team-Up

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Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced the Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act in 2009. (Greg Shine/U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced the Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act in 2009. (Greg Shine/U.S. Bureau of Land Management)
 By Eric Tegethoff - Producer, Contact
September 13, 2019

MARSING, Idaho – This year's Rangeland Fall Forum is coming to the Owyhees.

The event is being held in Marsing on October 10 and the theme for 2019 is "Science, Policy and Perspectives: Collaborating in the Owyhees."

It will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Owyhee Initiative, which brought stakeholders together in a collaborative management approach to face the landscape's challenges, including invasive species, wildfires and water availability.

Lynn Scarlett, vice president for public policy and government relations with The Nature Conservancy, is the keynote speaker and oversaw the initiative's negotiations as Deputy Interior Secretary under President George W. Bush.

"Owyhee County is one of the pioneers, one of the leaders in helping to both generate and then sustain these efforts,” says Scarlett. “And they're essential because I also always like to say to folks, 'You know, we can have our own passions and our own view of the perfect, but in the end no solutions are going to be durable unless they work for all the people in those places.'"

The Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act was introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo in 2009 and codified the agreement between local ranchers, conservationists, outfitters and other interests in the region.

The area faces a lot of pressures – and chief among them is a changing climate. But Scarlett says good, collaborative management can help safeguard the Owyhees.

"The healthier the landscapes are, the healthier the water flows are, the better the existing management is the more resilient that landscape can be to changes,” says Scarlett.

The forum also will include panels on wildfire treatment and local outcomes on the ground from the initiative, and closing remarks by environmental journalist Rocky Barker. On October 11 there will be talks on the range itself outside of the town of Triangle.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy of Idaho contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
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