New motto for Idaho Land Board?
"Do as I say, not as I do" should become the new
motto for the Idaho Land Board.
On one hand, the board is looking at ways to get control
of federal lands by putting them under state management. On the other, it
is feuding with Blaine County because the county wants to exert local
control on state-owned lands.
State leaders generally donít like the way the U.S.
Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management manage federal lands in
Idaho. It irks them that 63 percent of the state is federally owned. It
irks them that logging, grazing and mining are no longer Kings of the
economy. They regularly complain about the fedsí insensitivity to local
Idaho leaders think the state can do it better. So far,
the feds are ignoring them. The state would like to tell the feds to buzz
County leaders donít like the stateís proposal to
install a big gravel pit on 640 acres of state land in Ohio Gulch. The
land is zoned for residential and agricultural activities, not heavy
industry. The county complains that the state is insensitive to local
Idaho officials insist that Blaine County ordinances donít
apply to state land. Blaine County wants to tell the state to buzz off.
The Land Boardís Federal Lands Task Force drafted a
report to convince the federal government that the key to forest health is
a lot more logging and a lot fewer federal bureaucrats.
In rejecting a change to its comprehensive plan, the
Blaine County P&Z this week decided to try to convince state
government that the key to the areaís quality of life is a lot less
gravel mining and a lot less heavy-handed interference from the state.
The Federal Lands Task Force report essentially concluded:
No trees, no fires, no problems.
The Blaine County P&Z this week concluded: No gravel
pit, no traffic, no problems.
We predict the state Land Board will love the Federal
Lands Task Force report.
We predict the same Land Board will loathe the outcome of
its appeal to the Blaine County P&Z.
Before it goes further, it should take a hard look at
itself in a mirror.