Monday, June 11, 2007

Otter Proposes New Land Trust

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wants to create a permanent trust, worth more than $50 million, to help protect land across the state from development.

The Land Legacy Trust would help guarantee public access, and in some cases hunting rights, to lands placed in the trust. Otter’s announcement came on June 8.

While details are still sketchy on the proposal, the trust is modeled after similar ones in other Western states, including Wyoming and Arizona.

Working with Cal Groen, Idaho Fish and Game director, and the Fish and Game Commission, Otter proposes the trust be funded from two sources. The first is settlement money from Bonneville Power Administration for impacts on wildlife from regional dams. This amount has yet to be determined. Additional funds would come from the sale of surplus Fish and Game lands scattered across the state.

“While Idaho’s growth brings many benefits to our state, we need to balance growth with stewardship to ensure Idaho remains a place where farmers, ranchers and loggers can earn a living and where hunters, anglers and all Idahoans have access to our lands and our wildlife,” Otter said in a prepared statement.

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