Governor Otter Blasts President's Potential National Monument Designation
Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said Monday that he strongly opposes and will resist any attempt by President Barack Obama to use executive authority under the Antiquities Act to lock up more public land by creating a Boulder-White Clouds national monument.
Governor Otter said such unilateral action - supported by the Democrat challenging Governor Otter in the November election - would impose additional restrictions on Idahoans' traditional uses of the area.
"The President has made no effort to work together on this issue and is considering this decision without Congress or support of the state. He would not only violate the checks and balances instituted as part of our U.S. Constitution to ensure the voices of voters are heard, but he would also undermine existing management agreements on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. We must not allow a president who has spent no time in Idaho and is focused solely on pleasing environmentalists to dictate how Idaho residents use public lands."
The Boulder-White Clouds Mountains are located in the upper Salmon River region of central Idaho. If the 592,000-acre area becomes a national monument, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game no longer would be able to manage wildlife in that area, and public access would be limited.
Governor Otter has always felt the state of Idaho should have a say over its own lands. During his time in Washington, Governor Otter and Congressman Mike Simpson cosponsored a bill called the National Monument Fairness Act in 2001. It required the President to seek input from state and local officials prior to a monument declaration and would require congressional approval of any national monument designation or expansion larger than 50,000 acres.