Idahoans Balk At Lack of Access to Joseph Plains Following Billionaires' Land Grab 

click to enlarge Joseph Plains is an area directly west of Grangeville, Idaho. - BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

A couple of brothers from Texas are two of the richest people in the United States. having amassed more than $3 billion in the sale of the fracking business Frac Tech to oil-industry interests. In 2010, Dan and Farris Wilks began buying up more than 270,000 acres of Montana ranch land. Now, this morning's Lewiston Tribune reports the Texas billionaires have bought about 38,999 acres of Idaho land.

According to the article, the Idaho County Assessor's Office records reveal the Wilks brothers began purchasing Idaho ranches near Joseph Plains, which is in western Idaho County. The most recent transactions were completed last September.

The Tribune also reports nearby residents are complaining to Idaho County commissioners that public access for hunting and recreation in the Joseph Plains area, "which had been granted in the past by the previous landowners has been closed-off since the Wilkses took over."

Idaho County commissioners aren't worried, though.

"As long as [the Wilks brothers] pay their taxes, I'm not worried," Idaho County Commission Chairman Jim Chmelik is quoted as saying.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Wilks brothers and their spouses have contributed millions to the presidential campaign of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
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Speaking of Wilks Brothers, Joseph Plains


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