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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: grazing

State considers changes to grazing fees

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lands officials are considering increasing how much ranchers pay to graze on state lands for the first time in more than 20 years. The Times-News ( reports that Idaho's grazing fees are lower than its neighboring states but the state hasn't updated its fee formula since 1993. Idaho Department of Lands spokeswoman Emily Callihan says the state could change the rate depending on the quality of forage in an area a rancher wants to graze in. However, Idaho Cattle Association president Jared Brackett says ranchers could opt to graze on federal lands, where fees are significantly lower than those charged by the state. Callihan says the department will collect public input on how to change its grazing rates over the next year.

Idaho settles grazing lease lawsuit

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho has agreed to pay $50,000 and pledged to follow anti-discrimination rules to settle a federal lawsuit against state officials who awarded grazing leases to ranchers, not the environmentalist who had offered more money. The five-member Idaho Land Board, including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, has also committed to revising its rules to allow conservation groups to lease state endowment trust lands, a big change after years of fierce litigation. In 2006, Washington state businessman and environmentalist Gordon Younger was the high bidder on seven Idaho grazing leases, but lost when the Land Board under then-Gov. Jim Risch gave them to livestock owners. Younger sued in U.S. District Court, contending he was the victim of discrimination. Laird Lucas, Younger’s attorney, says he’s optimistic Tuesday’s settlement represents a departure from the past, when conservation groups were bullied out of winning state grazing leases. Click below to read the full story.

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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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