Thursday, January 14, 2010

Otter Lawyers Up on Parks and Rec Dismantling

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

On the third day of the porkmaking in Boise, Gov. Otter's plan to dismantle the state's Department of Parks and Rec hit a legal bump: the 11,000 acre Harriman State Park, along the Henry's Fork of the Snake River was deeded to the state on the condition that it be professionally managed by a Parks and Rec department.

AP writer John Miller wrote the story:

They wanted it to be called Harriman State Park — and insisted Idaho create a professional agency to manage it. Violating that provision by cutting the agency, according to legal documents reviewed by The Associated Press, could mean Idaho would have to give the property back.

Here's a nice slideshow of the park.

Neither the Gladys and Roland Harriman Foundation in New York (which also has a Harriman State Park) or former Eagle Mayor Nancy Merrill, now Idaho's Parks Chief, would comment on the hitch. Merrill is allegedly busy trying to figure out a way to save her agency, which Otter suggested could be done by finding and independent funding source (can you say railroad tycoon!) ...

Otter lawyer David Hensley said there may be a way to fold Parks and Rec into the Department of Lands without violating the agreement.

UPDATE: Rocky Barker at the Statesman spoke to an unnamed Harriman relation, who said the foundation does not intend to let Otter off the hook.

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