Eye On Boise

Bill would re-authorize land exchanges for state-owned cabin sites, with limits

Five House members and one senator have joined forces to introduce legislation designed to let the state go back to land exchanges as a way to get out of owning lakefront cottage sites, after two proposed exchanges were called off this year due to questions about a clause in existing state law. The new bill, SB 1277, was introduced yesterday in the Senate Resources Committee; its co-sponsors are Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint; and Reps. John Vander Woude, Grant Burgoyne, George Eskridge, Eric Anderson and Thyra Stevenson.

Current law says the state Land Board may exchange state endowment land “when it is in the state’s best interest,” but it says the land may be exchanged for “similar lands of equal value, public or private.” The new bill strikes the word “similar,” which raised questions in the earlier exchanges involving cabin sites at Priest and Payette lakes. It also adds a clause prohibiting any exchanges for lands that “have as their primary value buildings or other structures, unless said buildings or other structures are continually used by a public entity for a public purpose.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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