Eric Anderson sent this and wondered why the timber industry didn’t support it. I don’t know that we know anyone from the timber industry in Idaho who is on this blog, but still someone might have an idea. If I had to venture a guess, I would say they know that dog won’t hunt and distracts from finding dogs that might hunt. But who knows?
The special interest group that would benefit most from a state of Idaho takeover of federal lands is the timber industry. Yet on Oct. 28, during a legislative interim committee hearing on this issue, the timber industry balked at the idea.
Only one on the four-member panel, timber industry lobbyist Jim Riley, even suggested it was a “fruitful avenue to pursue.” Beyond that, timber industry representatives offered familiar alternatives to expand logging on federal lands, such as hobbling environmental review.
The timber industry’s tepid rejection of federal land disposal came after three panels representing tribal, sportsmen and environmental interests strongly condemned the idea.
This marked the second of two public lands hearings where the facts and public opinion line up against advocates of a state takeover. At the Aug. 9 hearing, Deputy Attorney General Steve Strack definitively proved Idaho’s founders did not want responsibility of federal lands.
The irony is that the interim committee was created by state lawmakers who supported a state takeover. Seven months later, that committee has become a powerful soapbox for why land transfer is a bad idea.
DEREK FARR, Grangeville
Here’s the link.