Idaho’s Primary Election is over and although I did not win in the primary, I am excited to be MOVING FORWARD with supporting Idaho and its communities!
In the coming years I vow to continue my work to keep Idaho’s economy strong while being a voice of reason for Rural Idaho! I continue to be in charge of the legislative committee for the Chamber of Commerce in Orofino and will continue to be actively involved in projects to benefit our community and all of rural Idaho as well!
Some of my main focus going forward will be:
- Maximize Utilization of Dworshak Reservoir, improving water quality while expanding its resource potential to benefit all of Idaho!
- Continue the extraordinarily successful Fertilization program that was started almost 10 years ago on Dworshak Reservoir. It is time to look at expanding this program to include trace minerals to replace vital nutrients that have diminished with the Salmon returns. Chromium and Selenium, essential nutrients in cancer prevention and diabetic conditions need to be put back into not only our reservoir but the lakes and streams that feed it. Trace minerals are essential to plant and forest health and Elk calk survival rates as well.
- Begin to actively pursue putting Chinook Salmon in Dworshak Reservoir. This would help replace the lack of Salmon (trace minerals) in the region. It would give the Nez Pierce tribe a source of salmon. It would be of great benefit to the local economy.
- Stop the summer draw-down of Dworshak Reservoir. Which has been deemed a biological failure on all fronts. The economic and environmental trade-off has not been worth the effort and has caused economic catastrophe in our rural communities. Our continued course is a waste of valuable resources, a steady roadblock to economic recovery and serves no purpose.
- Idaho needs to Increase taxation on Forest Service Ground by at least another $1 an acre. This money should go to schools so we would not have to continue doing levies. Increased federal tax dollars should help our County Road Department fund repair and maintenance of road infrastructure and EMS services to Forest Service lands, helping to offset the impact of tourists that are recreating in our area in ever increasing numbers. The majority of these tourists contribute little to the local economy, yet negatively impact our county budget in an increasingly huge way. We are seeing a huge influx of people from Washington as well as distant and adjoining Idaho counties that impact our limited resources in Clearwater County.
- Idaho needs to refocus its efforts to keep Idaho’s Agriculture in Idaho! At least 90% of all Idaho grown foods need to be sold and purchased IN Idaho! I would propose regional growing of products to fill our stores locally. I would expect changes in tax structures and benefits for farmers with contracts to the supermarkets. We would also have to add processing and distribution centers locally. This would increase the opportunity for local employment, eliminate food shortages in the event of further global disruption and mitigate economic hardship by maintaining a necessary work force, and eliminating reliance on long distance transportation of goods.
- I would look at a system of taxing non-residents entering the area for recreational purposes that strain our local resources. I don’t have a clear idea of what it would take to accomplish this, however I feel it is worth looking into.
- Refocus Idaho’s Tourism monies to locally supported and run organizations capable of spending the 2% tourism tax on efforts to support both small and large communities. Currently ITC funding is extremely lopsided. With the lions’ share is allocated to cities with larger populations and less recreational opportunities, not allowing the rural areas individual funds to support local efforts.