Wednesday, December 19, 2018
CONTACT: Anthony Roeber
509-624-1158 x117

National Mining Group Honors Idaho Governor

SPOKANE, WA – On December 4, 2018, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter was awarded the American Exploration & Mining Association’s (AEMA) Distinguished Service to the Minerals Industry Award in recognition of his leadership and lifelong support of the U.S. Mining Industry as a state legislator, Lt. Governor, Congressman, and Governor. AEMA announced the Governor’s award at its 124th Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA.

“Governor Otter’s commitment to bolstering rural economies while preserving western landscapes has always recognized the role of responsible mining,” said AEMA Executive Director Laura Skaer. “His recognition is well deserved for his decades of pragmatic leadership.”

Throughout his career, Governor Otter has been a stalwart supporter of the mining industry, working tirelessly to ensure that Idaho remains open for business when it comes to access to public lands and rural economic opportunities. Most recently, in 2017, the Governor was an effective voice in challenging the Environmental Protections Agency’s (EPA) onerous and duplicative financial assurance requirements under CERCLA 108(b), leading his fellow western Governors in their objections.

Governor Otter also has famously been one of the West’s greatest champions on Endangered Species Act (ESA) issues like slickspot peppergrass and sage-grouse. In 2012, he established the Governor’s Sage-Grouse Task Force that provided recommendations for regulatory action to preclude the need to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the ESA. He henceforth proposed alternatives for federal agencies to include land-use plan amendments to stabilize habitats and populations. In 2015, Governor Otter joined the Idaho Legislature in filing a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior (DOI) challenging DOI’s failure to stick to a collaborative process in setting new land-use restrictions on Greater Sage-Grouse habitat in Idaho and other states in the West. Governor Otter proved a valuable advocate to mining in 2017, with his opposition to DOI’s proposed mineral withdrawal in so-called Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFA). The Governor’s rational voice and strong advocacy was instrumental to convincing DOI to cancel the segregation and proposed withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres.

“Governor Otter has continually been a proactive voice of reason opposing excessive federal regulations and standing up for the rights of states to manage the local environment and industry,” Skaer said.