EPISODE Eight: Larry Larocco
Larry LaRocco served as a congressman from Idaho’s 1st congressional district in the US House of Representatives from 1991 through 1995. When he was elected, LaRocco knew very little about the Snake River canyon region, but he had cut his teeth as a politician working on wilderness legislation in central Idaho as a field coordinator for Senator Frank Church.
LaRocco entered congress at a moment when Morley Nelson, Cecil Andrus and others were starting to become concerned about the need to permanently protect the Snake River canyon. The Snake River Birds of Prey Natural Area had been protected through a 20 year administrative withdrawal in 1980, so by 1991 there were less than 10 years left to make that protection permanent. Representative LaRocco took this issue on, and was able to use his experience in public lands issues to sponsor legislation establishing permanent protection for the Snake River canyon region.
This legislation was Larry LaRocco’s greatest political victory - without Representative LaRocco, the area might have lost it’s protected status.