By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — House lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in central Idaho.
The House voted 45 to 22 to kill the resolution that opponents decried as recognition of federal land management in Idaho.
The 1,150 square mile (3,000 square kilometer) area includes the most rugged and pristine landscapes in the state that attracts outdoor enthusiasts from across the country for fishing, hunting, hiking, rock climbing and other activities.
The area includes the Wild Areas of Sawtooth, Hemingway – Boulders, and Cecil D. Andrus – White Clouds.
Republican Rep. Megan Blanksma blasted the resolution.
“It’s not a celebration of the Idaho state wilderness,” she said. “It’s a celebration of the federal government’s overreach in managing what should be state lands.”
House Democratic Minority Leader Ilana Rubel backed the resolution, referring to the region’s discovery about two decades ago.
“The idea that you could walk for a week, for 10 days, and be surrounded by beautiful crystal clear streams and trees and breathtaking peaks,” she said. “I had never seen anything like it. I didn’t know there was such a thing in North America where people could go for free and hike.
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