Idaho’s state Land Board voted unanimously this morning to approve a cottage site leasing plan for the next three years, which anticipates many of the remaining state-owned cottage sites at Payette and Priest lakes will be auctioned off. The new plan, which covers 176 leases that will expire over the next seven years, includes provisions for appraisals and leases for those who aren’t yet involved in auctions; once current leases expire, the new ones would be shorter term, running through 2024. At that point, Lands Department official Mike Murphy told the board, there will be some cottage site lessees who have not gone through a voluntary auction process to obtain the land under their cabins, but there “might be a very small number.”
Associations representing lessees have been pleased with the proposed process, Murphy said. “Quite frankly, the Priest Lake folks were thrilled. We went up to their association meeting in Spokane and they fully supported what we’re proposing today,” he said.
State Lands Director Tom Schultz said, “It’s truly a success story in my mind.”
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said, “Few things have been as contentious, and the fact that we’ve been able to resolve this in this way is remarkable in my view.”