T.F. council grounds canyon jump

Here’s the latest twist in the Twin Falls canyon jump saga — a story with at least a $943,000 stake for Idaho schools.

'Big Ed' Beckley
‘Big Ed’ Beckley

On Monday night, the Twin Falls City Council voted to deny Texas stuntman “Big Ed” Beckley access to a launch site on the south rim of the Snake River Canyon. (Details here from KBOI TV in Boise.)

Beckley has a two-year lease for a landing site, on state land in Jerome County, on the north rim of the canyon. Beckley paid the state $943,000 for a two-year lease on the state land — with the proceeds earmarked for public education.

Beckley has also offered the state 3 percent on broadcast rights on the planned jump, and a 5 percent share of other proceeds from the event.

The state has the $943,000 lease money already in hand, and elected officials on the state Land Board have suggested the state would hang onto the money whether Beckley’s stunt actually gets off the ground.

Two competing canyon leaps are in the works for September 2014 — the 40th anniversary of Evel Knievel’s failed leap across the 500-foot-deep chasm. Jerome County officials are working with a second group planning a launch from the north rim of the canyon.