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A huge expanse of Idaho’s idyllic Owyhee Canyonlands may soon become a bombing range. Under a plan developed and pushed by Gov. Cecil Andrus, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management would hand approximately 20,000 acres of land over to the state, which would in turn lease it to the 366th Wing fighter pilots of Idaho’s Mountain Home Air Force Base. Opposition to the plan has brought together an unlikely coalition of big-game hunters, Native Americans, environmentalists, federal officials, and some of Andrus’ own state offices. The contested swath of canyon-carved high desert, sacred ground to Shoshone-Paiute Indians, contains myriad endangered plants, animals, and wetlands, and several hundred archaeological sites.


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