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Would-Be Snake River Canyon Jumpers Pitch Plans To Twin Falls Officials

Frank Kovalchek
Flickr Creative Commons

Six groups wanting to get Twin Falls' blessing to jump over the Snake River canyon next year will make their pitch today to the city council.

A total of seven groups have responded to the city's request for proposals. That includes ABC News, as well as "Big" Ed Beckley, the Texas stuntman who's already paid the state of Idaho $1 million for the rights to land on state owned property.

Beckley wants to take off from city-controlled land on a rocket-powered motorcycle. But the state and city are going through separate approval processes, which could eventually leave Beckley with approval from the state but not the city.

Idaho's Department of Lands spokesperson Emily Callahan says Beckley's payments to the state - which goes to public schools - are non refundable.

"Our job isn't necessarily to make sure than an event takes place or that Big Ed makes money off of this," Callahan says. "It's that the endowment trust retains the money that's been given to it. And our job as land managers is to make sure the land is protected for future uses as well."

But Beckely is confident his resume will win him approval from the city, and be able to carry out his planned jump, which will coincide with Evel Knievel's attempted canyon jump 40 years ago.

Beckley is in Twin Falls and will make his pitch to the city council this afternoon.

"Nobody else is any kind of motorcycle stuntman who's ever done anything like this," Beckley says. "Not only do I do this, but I put on monster truck events and motorsports events and concerts and stuff like that all across the United States."

The assistant to the city manager in Twin Falls, Mike Williams, admits the process different agencies are using is "not ideal." He says the city just wants to make sure if a jump happens, it's a "safe and sane" event.