Residential property along the Clearwater Middle Fork and Lochsa rivers enjoys a premium value of at least 20 percent, according to local Realtors, because it lies within the Wild and Scenic River corridor. The conversion of Highway 12 into a high and wide corridor for megaloads would wipe out that premium and more.
One Realtor recently told the Missoula Independent, “If these (international corporations) in fact start hauling 200-some loads, it will have in my opinion a negative impact on property values. … As much as half of the value could be lost. And the losses … won’t stop at premiums for scenic easement.”
If property values along Highway 12 in Idaho and Montana are negatively impacted by only 10 percent, the loss to property owners will be in the millions of dollars. The predicted losses of 20 percent to 30 percent, from Lewiston to Missoula and up the Blackfoot River, could be staggering. This impact would also spread to realty sales and property taxes.
In approving the megaloads, the state of Idaho – supposedly staunch defenders of private property rights – is requiring private property owners to assume this risk so the most profitable international corporation in the world can make greater profits.