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Idaho Governor Touts 'Rule Of Law' In First Comments On Oregon Militants

File photo of Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter
Office of the Governor
File photo of Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter spoke forcefully about observing the “rule of law” in his first comments on the armed protesters in adjacent eastern Oregon.

A small group of militants continues to occupy National Wildlife Refuge offices near Burns to protest federal lands policies.

“Do I understand their frustration? Nobody does more than I because if I had taken that same action I would have gone over and occupied the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Service) when they decided to do what they did to the sage grouse and throw our plans clear out like they weren’t even of any consequence,” Otter said. “But it is the ‘rule of law.’ There are peaceful and legitimate ways to do things.”

Otter referred to his frustration with federal limits on grazing and land use to keep the greater sage grouse off the endangered species list. This past fall, the state of Idaho filed suit against the Obama administration to challenge the new land use restrictions.

Otter made his comments Thursday in an answer to a question at the AP Legislative Preview in Boise.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.
Tom Banse
Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.