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Guard tank-crossing project on conservation land elicits cease and desist letter

Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

By REBECCA BOONE | Associated Press | Published: October 24, 2017

BOISE, Idaho — The Bureau of Land Management has ordered the Idaho National Guard to stop building a tank crossing on a road in a national conservation area until an environmental analysis is finished and the BLM decides whether to grant a permit.

A formal cease and desist letter was quietly sent to the Idaho Military Division last month, stating that the construction project — which involved extensive digging and trenching on Simco Road — was a trespass on the BLM-managed Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey Conservation Area.

Both sides characterized the issue as the result of a rare misunderstanding in a long-standing positive relationship.

The Guard is seeking a right-of-way permit from the BLM so it can expand its training area to nearby land owned and managed by the state.

The conservation area contains key habitat for eagles, falcons and hawks.

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