Idaho Reps OK Bill To Expand ATV Hunts Over F&G Protest

March 2012 Powersport News

By Associated Press

Boise, Idaho - Backcountry trails on Idaho's federal lands would open to all-terrain vehicle-riding hunters, under a measure passed by the House over Department of Fish and Game objections.

Thursday's 48-21 vote sends it to the Senate.

Currently, Fish and Game's rules require hunter in a third of Idaho's hunting units to steer clear of off-road vehicle trails.

This bill lifts restrictions, something ATV users say will remedy confusion over where they can ride.

Rep. Judy Boyle said such closures have been unnecessary since 2005, when the U.S. Forest Service banned cross-country ATV travel.

She argues Fish and Game's rules exceed the agency's statutory authority.

Fish and Game commissioners opposed this measure, however, arguing it hurts their ability to shield game from overharvest.

Rep. Linden Bateman contends the rule provides refuge for wildlife.

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