The committee passed H.R. 5040 the Idaho County Shooting Range Land Conveyance Act. The bill would convey 31 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to Idaho County (southeast of Clearwater County) for use as a gun range. This gun range would provide accessible firearms training for Idaho County residents, recreational opportunities for families and a convenient training facility for the Idaho County Sheriff’s Department. The Idaho County Commissioners have agreed to manage the land as a shooting range and work closely with local law enforcement to provide all necessary maintenance.
“As a matter of principle, the government closest to the people is the one that governs best,” Labrador said. “For years, the Idaho County Commission has been ready to install a gun range in the Riggins area. Because of cumbersome BLM regulations, they have been unable to acquire the necessary land. Idaho County residents deserve to have a safe location for recreational firearms use and this solution is long overdue.”
The committee also passed H.R. 1363, the Exploring for Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act. The legislation removes federal barriers to geothermal energy exploration while limiting environmental impact. It will allow for the development of clean geothermal energy resources on federal lands that will create jobs and provide low-cost energy to American families. In Idaho alone, geothermal energy has the potential to generate more than 800 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power more than 500,000 homes.
“Idaho has an abundance of geothermal potential that is unavailable due to bureaucratic impediments,” Labrador said. “Idaho has a unique history of developing geothermal energy. I served in the Idaho Legislature where our 100-year-old Statehouse is heated with geothermal energy, as are many Downtown Boise office buildings, homes near Warm Springs Avenue and part of the Boise State University campus. We need to harness this clean, renewable and reliable form of energy.”
Both bills now move to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Earlier in the 113th Congress, the Natural Resources Committee approved two other bills sponsored by Labrador: H.R. 657, the Grazing Improvement Act and H.R. 1294, the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act. Both bills passed the full House of Representatives and await Senate consideration.