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Huckleberries Online

Thu., Aug. 22, 2013, 11:09 a.m.

Legislators contemplate economic benefit of state control of federal lands

Some members of the Idaho Legislature’s Federal Lands Interim Committee are suggesting that there is a better way to finance some general fund expenditures in the Gem State: Securing the otherwise federally controlled lands in Idaho and putting them to good use for local and statewide purposes.

“With the natural resources that reside just in my district alone (District No. 8) there are probably enough assets to pay for both the state’s public education and transportation needs,” said Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly.

Gestrin serves on Federal Lands Interim Committee, which is comprised of both Senate and House members. At a recent meeting, he and the other committee members spent nearly seven hours hearing presentations about the legal, practical and economic implications of the state taking control of otherwise federally controlled land within the state.

One of the presenters that the committee members heard was David Groeschl, a forestry expert with the Idaho Department of Lands. Full story. Austin Hill, Idaho Reporter

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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.