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For the week of January 31 through February 6, 2001

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 concerns.

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 off.

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 concerns.

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.


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