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Eye On Boise

Could ya spell that?

With 16 new state Department of Lands employees being introduced to the state Land Board on Tuesday, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne recalled his first job out of college – working for the state Lands Department – and remembered being brought to a Land Board meeting and being introduced.

“I was then asked by then-Gov. Cecil Andrus to please spell my last name,” he said to chuckles. “It wasn’t a household word.”

Lands is adding the workers, who include foresters, resource managers and more, as it ramps up timber sales on state endowment lands, a move approved by lawmakers to try to cut more big trees. Many of those introduced Tuesday will be working in North or north-central Idaho.

Kempthorne recalled that his first workspace as a state employee was a small office downstairs in the state Capitol. When he was governor-elect, he was assigned the same office to use during his transition.

“You have a great career ahead of you,” Kempthorne told the workers. “One of you may be governor at some point. Take care of the furniture, because you may get to use it again.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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