Texas stuntman's plan to jump Snake River Canyon on hold

Credit: Troy Colson/ KTVB

Texas stuntman's plan to jump Snake River Canyon on hold

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by Bonnie Shelton

Bio | Email | Follow: @BonnieKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 7:38 PM

TWIN FALLS -- "Big Ed" Beckley's plan to jump the Snake River Canyon to honor the 40 year anniversary of Evel Knievel's failed attempt has come to a screeching halt.

Monday night, Twin Falls city council members voted 5-2 to deny his request for a lease to use Knievel's launch ramp.

"About 15 hours ago we had the cake and didn't get to eat it," said Beckley of the decision.

Last year, the Texas motorcycle stuntman won a bid to use the landing site. It's managed by the Idaho Department of Lands, and Beckley paid close to one million dollars to lease that land for two years.

"We've done everything that has been asked of us. No questions asked basically," said Beckley.

But the Evel Knievel launch ramp, located across the canyon, is owned by the city of Twin Falls. The city annexed the land on the south side of the Snake River back in November.

Beckley needs a separate permit to use that site for his planned launch in September. After winning the bid from the state, Beckley was the city's top choice to make the jump.

The Twin Falls mayor says in recent discussions, problems with the plan started to gain ground.

"First of all, we haven't received a real safety plan from Beckley Media Group. I know we've been working on that together, but we were hoping to be a little further ahead with that plan," said Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall. "How are we going to ensure public safety with 100,00 people coming to our community. We're a small community."

Those concerns were echoed by several community members at a city council meeting Monday. After the comments, city council members voted 5-2 to deny Beckley's lease request.

"They didn't feel like we could go ahead with this," said Hall.

Despite that decision, Twin Falls city leaders say Beckley can still make the jump, he just needs to find land that isn't owned by the city to launch off of.

"Certainly there's private land out there, there's other county land," added Hall.

In fact, another stuntman plans to try to jump the Snake River Canyon this September by doing just that.

Meanwhile, Beckley says he still plans to honor the lease he signed with the Idaho Department of Lands hoping to find another way to make his dream jump come true.

 "We feel like we can find a piece of property that doesn't have anything to do with the city of Twin Falls," said Beckley.

Several other stunt groups also asked the city of Twin Falls for permission to make a jump across the Snake River Canyon this year.

The mayor says the city council will revisit those proposals next week to try and decide if any jump will be possible.

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