Carey comments on Craters
Expansion puts Craters boundary half a mile from city limits
By PETER BOLTZ
Express Staff Writer
People in Carey knew U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt planned
to recommend expansion of the Craters of the Moon National Monument six months ago.
Babbitt revealed his intentions when he invited Blaine County ranchers
John Peavey, Bud Purdy and Idaho Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa to meet with him April
18 at Craters of the Moon.
Purdy, Cenarrusa and Peavey said Babbitt met with just the three of them
in order to make the point that he wanted a good exchange with farmers and ranchers.
Cenarrusa said Babbitt "assured ranchers and farmers that there would
be an open discussion and that livestock ranching would continue under BLM
Peavey said Babbitt made "a serious effort to communicate with
livestock people who use that forage."
Carey officials thought they might be invited to join in the discussions,
toosince the new boundary moved the monument to within half a mile of the city
limitsbut they werent.
Carey Mayor Rick Baird said now that the monument expansion is official,
the city feels "similar to how we first felt."
That is, left out.
"The people of Carey didnt have much input on the matter. I
wish we had more public input," said Carey City Councilman Craig Adamson.
He said the city council heard from residents who were upset their chance
to comment had been "bypassed."
Councilman Randy Patterson said he was doubtful the expansion would bring
an increase in tourism trade for the city as touted.
"It wont matter how big the monument is. A lot of people
already visit the Craters. I think the expansion will have no or minimum impact on the
But Baird expressed concern the expansion "could significantly alter
our quiet rural type of lifestyle."
"Were really not impressed with economic impact if it destroys
our way of life in Carey," he said.
As a sportsman, Baird said he wasnt "particularly pleased"
about the expansion since access would now be controlled where once it wasnt.
Adamson and Patterson also expressed concern earlier that old hunting
areas would be "locked up."
But Jim Morris, superintendent of the monument, gave a "Yes and
no" answer on whether hunting will still be allowed.
Areas used for grazing in the newly added area and managed by the Bureau
of Land Management will remain open for hunting. Those administered by the National Park
Service will be closed.
So, for those in Carey, has a way of life changed?
Yes and no.