Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Huge Idaho Land Swap Being Considered This Week

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Central Idahoans are doing their due diligence this week on one of the largest proposed Gem State land swaps in recent memory. The proposed plan would trade approximately 40,000 acres in the Upper Lochsa River Basin, currently owned by Western Pacific Timber, for a select number of parcels of U.S. Forest Service land, all in Idaho County.

The Forest Service has indicated that it covets the land in the upper Lochsa region for wildlife managment. In return, they're proposing to swap land bordering the Fish Creek camping and skiing area seven miles south of Grangeville, in addition to other select parcels. Western Pacific has promised to honor current grazing leases on the Forest Service land, but opponents argued that the timber company could raise fees to ranchers in the future, driving them out of business.

The plan is getting the once-over from citizens at workshops in Riggins and Grangeville this week. According to the Lewiston Tribune, almost all of those attending thus far are against any kind of trade.

The comment period on the proposal ends in mid-January.

You can see a map of the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange here.

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