Friday, September 12, 2008
Idaho has hopes for land sale to Forest Service
BOISE, Idaho -
Idaho is hoping the proposed sale of three state-owned backcountry ranches to the U.S. Forest Service will kickstart a $50 million "Land Legacy Trust" announced by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter last year, aimed at protecting ranches, timberland and wildlife habitat.
Of 30 surplus properties the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has identified, the ranches are the first to make a list of those eligible in 2009 for money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, created in 1965 to use some royalties from offshore oil and gas leases for conservation.
Still, state and federal officials say securing the entire $14 million requested by the Forest Service to buy the three ranches deep in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness will be a tough sell, due to intense national competition among projects and because Congress has limited payouts from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko