The cause of a June 30 Boise Foothills fire last year was determined to be illegal "aerial" fireworks. Oddly, it’s illegal to ignite skyward fireworks (think Roman candles and bottle rockets) in Idaho, but their sale is perfectly legal!  You simply promise  that you’ll leave the state before you break out the matches.  If you think that’s crazy, you’re not alone. But in the Idaho Legislature, common sense doesn’t always rule the day.

Fireworks Bill Fizzles

Firefighters and police officers in Idaho know that July 4 will be busy in 2017, despite their hopes for  a fix. They were working with  Rep. Mat Erpelding (D-Boise)  to close the loophole that allows the sale of aerial fireworks. Based on sales still being allowed on Native American reservations and houses burning down for other than fireworks, the House State Affairs Committee voted 9-6, refusing to even print the bill and give it a hearing. This left Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan "shocked and outraged."

Let’s Rally for Our Public Lands!

Mark your calendar for a rally on the Capitol steps on Saturday, Mar 4, at 11 am. ICL joins with other public land supporters from across the state to speak up for “keeping public lands in public hands”! What better way to celebrate Idaho Day!

Inching Closer to the Governor’s Desk

The Senate Transportation Committee advanced the hybrid tax repeal, which removes the $75 fee that gas hybrid owners have been forced to pay. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Steven Harris (R-Meridian), passed the Senate last year, so it should be on Gov. Otter’s desk next week!

Proactive on Invasive Species

Concerned about aquatic invasives, Sen. Jim Rice (R-Caldwell) and Mark Harris (R-Soda Springs) introduced a bipartisan measure to create an office of invasive species. The Idaho Council on Industry and the Environment is hosting a forum  Feb 22. We’ll be there and encourage you to attend!  

Oil  and Gas in Focus

In a  busy week for oil and gas issues, three bills were introduced in a Senate committee, the  House rejected rules  proposed by the Idaho Department of Lands, and the IDL outlined how Idaho’s oil and gas regulations compare with those in other states. So far, the focus has been on Payette County, where only a few wells are in production. Concerns from landowners have prompted District 9 legislators to closely review current laws.

Tie of the Week

Payette County is the epicenter of exploration efforts by the natural gas industry. Historically, orchards dominated the landscape and gave Fruitland its name. For me, I think of Payette County when I wear this tie…