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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lawmakers warned of predatory outfitters

Associated Press

LEWISTON – Predatory outfitters are victimizing would-be guides by selling their business at inflated prices, leaving the new owners destined for foreclosure, the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board told legislators in Boise this week.

Skilled outdoorsmen are not always skilled businessmen, board director Jake Howard told members of the House Resources and Conservation Committee. Howard asked the committee to consider requiring outfitters to disclose the purchase price of their new business along with the sales agreement when they apply for outfitter licenses.

The rule would protect new outfitters from unscrupulous businessmen who repeatedly sell and then foreclose on the same business, he said, by letting the licensing board know if the applicant has adequate financing to succeed.

“They’re making a business out of selling the same license over and over,” said Howard.

But several committee members chafed at the rule, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, called it “a little too Big Brotherly.”

Purchase price is proprietary information and should not be disclosed to licensers, Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly said. By dipping into private business transactions, he said, the licensing board would essentially be guaranteeing the success of new outfitters to whom it granted licenses.

Part of the licensing board’s mission is to protect the public – including potential outfitters who are destined to fail, Howard said.

“They’re just walking into a trap,” said Howard.

Roberts was appointed to head a subcommittee to look into the issues surrounding the rule change. The rules cannot go into effect without a stamp of approval from the Legislature.