A proposed North Idaho land swap is on hold while the state Department of Fish and Game attempts to negotiate a public access easement on the property to be traded.
The agency wants to acquire a 1,000-acre former horse ranch on the Coeur d’Alene River, restoring wetlands and improving water quality in nearby Black Lake. Fish and Game doesn’t have the money to buy the property, but has proposed trading 1,400 acres near St. Maries for it.
The agency received 146 public comments on the trade, with 54 opposing it.
Opponents said they didn’t want to lose public access to the parcels near St. Maries.
If the agency is successful in negotiating perpetual public access to the St. Maries properties, a new environmental assessment would be prepared. Members of the public could weigh in again during a new, 30-day comment period.
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