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Commentaries and editorials

Stanley Supports CIEDRA, Salmon Recovery

by Todd Adams
The Challis Messenger, January 20, 2005

The Stanley City Council was in a supportive mood January 12, passing a resolution in support of Rep. Mike Simpson’s proposed Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA), participating in a study on the economic impacts of restored salmon and steelhead runs and more.

The council conducted its business in record time of 2.5 hours with a record low audience turnout of five.

CIEDRA support

Councilman Steve Barnard’s draft resolution in support of CIEDRA was passed unanimously.

Barnard said Stanley should support Simpson because “everyone else is complaining” about CIEDRA.

Stanley “enthusiastically supports” CIEDRA in its present form, the resolution states. “We congratulate Congressman Simpson for constructing an effective compromise on this difficult and contentious problem, and we appreciate his efforts to provide for the economic development of the City of Stanley.”

“I like it the way it’s written,” said Councilman Dick Neustaedter.

Mayor Paul Frantellizzi said he supported the resolution, but cautioned that wording in the following sentence might be perceived as negative: “The proposed legislation effectively addresses irrational land-use policies in the City that are a historical legacy from the creation of the SNRA.”

Councilman Charlie Thompson said he supports the resolution. Both the city and the Stanley-Sawtooth Area Chamber of Commerce should defend CIEDRA during the lobbying process in Washington, D.C., he said.

Councilman Dick Neustaedter said he worried about the SNRA or the Sawtooth Society coming “in through the back door” to impose restrictions on how the city can use land, but added he supports the resolution.

After the resolution passed, Barnard said the council must remain vigilant and defend the city’s interests as CIEDRA is reintroduced into the current session of Congress.

Resolution No. 100 notes that Stanley is the community that will be most affected by Simpson’s legislation, due to its proximity to the proposed Boulder/White Clouds Wilderness Area and its tourism-based economy.

CIEDRA provides land for affordable housing on the Sewer Pond parcel in Stanley, restrictions to ensure appropriate residential development on the Benner Street parcel and includes an all-season trail from Stanley to Redfish Lake.

Salmon study

The council voted in favor of participating in an Idaho Rivers United study to assess the economic impacts of fully-restored salmon and steelhead runs and “dependable fishing seasons” to communities statewide, including headwaters communities like Stanley, Challis and Salmon.

Dick Neustaedter abstained saying he did not support a prior proposal to remove dams on the lower Snake River to restore anadromous fish runs and worries that proposal might be revived.

Frantellizzi said he saw little chance of that happening, based on recent federal legislation and the current political climate.

Bill Sedivy, executive director of Idaho Rivers United (IRU), had asked for the council’s support in a December 29 letter.

Sedivy said IRU has received a grant and hired an economist to do the study so that business owners, civic and political leaders can “get a handle on just how important a restored fishery could be to the economies of Idaho’s rural communities.”

Salmon and steelhead anglers in the Salmon and Clearwater basins dropped an estimated $180 million into the economies of central Idaho communities in 2001, Sedivy’s letter states. But the communities of the Upper Salmon River Basin have not shared in that prosperity.

Sedivy’s letter did not ask the council for any financial support, but to sign on as a partner. The city could examine the study prior to public release and be listed as a partner on the final report if satisfied.

Barnard moved to participate in the study, Neil Anderson seconded it, and all voted in favor, with Neustaedter abstaining.

Special meetings

The council will study and discuss proposed ordinances at a special meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. on January 25.

On January 26, at 5:30 p.m., the city has scheduled a public hearing to gather comments on three ordinances. Planning and zoning, a second ordinance that currently groups mobile homes into a single area known as Residential C Zone, and a third that reduces business license fees from $100 to $25 per year will be on the table.

The council has already discussed some of the limitations of the 1993 mobile home ordinance. Neuestaedter and Barnard suggested throwing it out and starting from scratch, possibly with a vagrancy ordinance that would be easier to enforce.

The 1993 ordinance was designed to deal with a lack of affordable housing, which limited business growth because employees couldn’t find housing. It set boundaries for the Residential C Zone, formerly known as the “Trailer Park” and required foundations and water/sewer connections for mobile homes.

Neustaedter said things were “out of hand” in the past, with summer employees sleeping in camper shells, out on the streets and in their vehicles.

Avalanche experiment

Frantellizzi told the council he is scheduled to make a bombing run in a helicopter at 9:00 a.m. January 21.

The Idaho Department of Transportation is experimenting with dropping explosive charges to trigger avalanches in the chutes along Highway 21. The Forest Service has given its approval to the test, which temporarily will close the highway.

The idea is to try to keep the road open more during the winter months to benefit Stanley’s economy. At Messenger press time, the highway had been closed at Banner Summit since 8:30 a.m. January 18 due to avalanche danger.

Todd Adams
Stanley Supports CIEDRA, Salmon Recovery
The Challis Messenger, January 20, 2005

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