BOISE •Idaho’s environmentalists, ranchers, loggers and tribal members will have a chance to weigh in on whether the state should take control of federal public lands.

The controversial proposal is currently being discussed by the state Legislature’s joint Federal Lands Interim Committee. The 10-member committee will be in Boise on Monday to hear from the various stakeholders.

The all-day meeting will include representatives from Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Conservation League, and the Idaho Forest Group

Each panel representing a different interest group will give opinions on the perceived benefits or concerns of control and ownership of public lands under both federal and state government. They will also discuss management suggestions on public lands for both state and local entities.

This will be the second meeting the committee has had since it was created. The committee is a result of a resolution adopted in April during the 2012 state Legislative session. The resolution demanded that the federal government “imminently transfer title” to more than 34 million acres of Idaho’s public land.

During the August meeting, state Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, committee co-chairman said they would not submit a recommendation until the 2015 Legislature session.

State Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has questioned the legality of the proposed state takeover of federal lands.

(1) comment


Wasden questions the legality of the takeover . . . really? This whole thing is a huge time-waster and chest beater for the radical right.

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