Idaho wants to manage federal land, help counties



BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s rural counties want Washington, D.C., to let the state manage federal land to boost their finances amid threats to a program that’s propped up their budgets.

The Idaho Land Board including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter threw his support behind a pilot program to place 200,000 acres of national forests under state Department of Lands’ oversight.

The Idaho Statesman ( ) reports the state would manage the land to benefit rural counties.

For eight years, counties have been the beneficiaries of a federal law that’s replaced dwindling timber sale receipts. It sends about $13.7 million annually to Idaho.

But with national debt cutting a priority, that money is in doubt.

Despite Idaho’s support, environmental groups and others are skeptical the federal government will turn over national forest land to state control.


Information from: Idaho Statesman,